Richard Stein – Realtor®, Douglas Elliman, GREEN, SFR, CBR, eCertified®

Local Agent, Worldwide Marketing – Douglas Elliman Real Estate formerly Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

First-Time Buyers May Have it Easiest Here

First-time home buyers are entering the market under tight inventory conditions and rising home prices. But not all cities are posing a challenge for those looking to break in to homeownership.

A new study by LendingTree ranks the top cities for first-time home buyers in the nation’s 100 largest cities. They factored in average down payment amounts, the share of buyers using an FHA mortgage, the share of homes sold that the median income family can afford; and more.

First-time home buyers in Little Rock, Ark.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Grand Rapids, Mich., topped LendingTree’s list as best cities for first-time home buyers in 2018. Both Little Rock and Birmingham have low average down payments of just 12 percent or $24,896 and $27,000, respectively. Grand Rapids proved to be the best place to be an FHA borrower (59 percent).

On the other hand, LendingTree found in its analysis that Denver, New York, and San Francisco ranked as the most challenging cities for first-time buyers.

These 10 cities ranked at the top for first-time home buyers:

  1. Little Rock, Ark.
  2. Birmingham, Ala.
  3. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  4. Youngstown, Ohio
  5. Winston, N.C.
  6. Dayton, Ohio
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Scranton, Pa.
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Cincinnati



View the full top 100 rankings and a breakdown of each data point analyzed for each city at LendingTree.

Source: LendingTree

U.S. Housing Inventory Sinks in January

The number of homes on the market has dropped for 28 consecutive months

America’s housing shortage continues to spiral—with the number of homes for sale nationwide dropping 14.4% year-over-year in January, according to a report Thursday from Redfin.

It was the largest year-over-year decline since U.S. supply began falling every month 28 months ago. A competitive market for available homes has pushed prices up, with the median sales price hitting $280,500 in January, a 7.8% increase over last year.

MORE: Sales Volume Up in the Hamptons, Buoyed by Lower Priced Transactions

The typical home sold in just 53 days in January—six days faster than a year ago.

Some of the fastest moving markets in the country are in pricey coastal cities. San Jose, California—where homes average around $1 million—logged the fastest moving sales in the country in January, with the average home finding a buyer in…..

Full story at MANSION GLOBAL

Is Market Volatility Giving Buyers Cold Feet?

It seems a 1,000-plus point drop in the stock market last week mixed with rising interest rates may have been enough to give homeowners and buyers the jitters. Overall mortgage applications last week dipped 4.1 percent week over week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

Read more: Don’t Panic Over Stock Market Mayhem

Broken out, mortgage applications for home purchases plunged 6 percent last week. However, that number is still 4 percent higher than last year. Home buyers complain of weakened affordability and lengthier home searches in research released this week by the National Association of Home Builders. Refinance applications dipped 2 percent last week, but they remain 2.8 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

“Refinance activity is continuing along a floor, while the drop in purchase may be related to short-term stock market jitters,” says Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “We still expect activity to pick up as we make our way into early spring.”

Mortgage rates continue to move upwards. Last week the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest rate since January 2014, averaging 4.57 percent, the MBA reported.

Source: “Stock Jitters and Higher Interest Rates Drive Weekly Mortgage Applications Down 4.1%,” CNBC

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