• 10 best markets for first-time homebuyers in 2018

    By: Mike Timmermann

    Updated:

    If you know anyone who’s looking to buy their first home, you don’t need us to tell you that it’s a strong seller’s market.

    Low inventory has led to an increase in real estate prices and many first-time home shoppers nationwide are struggling to find a place to call home without breaking their budget.

    So where are the best cities for first-time buyers to look? The real estate website Zillow has some suggestions!

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    New report: These are the best markets for first-time homebuyers

    Zillow ranked the 35 largest U.S. housing markets based on where first-time buyers have the best chance to find an affordable home with little buyer competition and strong forecasted home value appreciation.

    It found that new buyers will have it easiest in the Southeast, especially Texas and Florida.

    Five of the top 10 markets for first-time buyers are in those two states, Zillow found. Homes in those markets require a smaller down payment, plus buyers are more likely to encounter price cuts.

    “More and more millennials are reaching the point in their lives where they are ready to buy a home, but they are entering a highly competitive housing market that has been plagued by low inventory, especially among entry-level homes,” said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. “Southeastern markets will be easiest for new buyers, where homes are more affordable and there’s less competition. People planning to buy for the first time in some of the tougher markets should be prepared to face a more competitive environment, but that doesn’t mean they should count out buying entirely.”

    On the other hand, first-time buyers are likely to face the most difficulty in West Coast markets. Homes in California metros are expensive, inventory is limited and it takes longer to break even.

    Read on for Zillow’s list of the 10 best markets for first-time buyers in 2018…

    1. Tampa, Florida

    Waterfront in Tampa, Florida
    Waterfront in Tampa, Florida
    • Population Growth: 1.9%
    • Share of Listings With Price Cuts: 18.7%
    • Zillow Home Value Index: $195,200
    • Breakeven Horizon: 1 year and 11 months
    • Zillow Home Value Forecast: 3.1%
    • Inventory: 13,733 homes

    2. Indianapolis, Indiana 

    Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Population Growth: 0.7%
    • Share of Listings With Price Cuts: 16.4%
    • Zillow Home Value Index: $143,200
    • Breakeven Horizon: 1 year and 7 months
    • Zillow Home Value Forecast: 4.0%
    • Inventory: 6,476 homes

    3. Houston, Texas 

    Skyline in Houston, Texas
    Skyline in Houston, Texas
    • Population Growth: 1.7%
    • Share of Listings With Price Cuts: 16.7%
    • Zillow Home Value Index: $186,800
    • Breakeven Horizon: 1 year and 10 months
    • Zillow Home Value Forecast: 2.7%
    • Inventory: 26,275 homes

    4. Orlando, Florida

    Orlando, Florida
    Disney World in Orlando, Florida
    • Population Growth: 2.3%
    • Share of Listings With Price Cuts: 14.9%
    • Zillow Home Value Index: $216,100
    • Breakeven Horizon: 1 year and 8 months
    • Zillow Home Value Forecast: 3.5%
    • Inventory: 9,351 homes

    5. San Antonio, Texas

    San Antonio, Texas
    The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
    • Population Growth: 2%
    • Share of Listings With Price Cuts: 18.8%
    • Zillow Home Value Index: $169,300
    • Breakeven Horizon: 2 years
    • Zillow Home Value Forecast: 2.3%
    • Inventory: 8,036 homes

    Here are the markets that rounded out the top 10 list: Saint Louis, Missouri; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Las Vegas, Nevada and Dallas, Texas. Read more at Zillow.com.

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