First-time buyers make up a large percentage of the total in the US. In a market with ever-falling inventory and ever-rising house prices, they’re finding it tougher than ever to buy a home. A recent survey by an online property portal found that out of the 35 largest markets in the US, Tampa property offers the best possibilities for those looking to buy their first home.
First-time buyer challenges
The US property market generally presents plenty of challenges for first-time buyers, who according to the survey make up 42% of the market. Price rises were constant throughout 2017 and 2018 promises more of the same. In February, Florida property registered its 74th consecutive month of house price increases.
Hand in hand with rising prices goes a falling inventory. High demand and lack of available housing, particularly new build properties, means that supply is slowly dwindling. This is especially true at the lower end of the market where the number of homes on the market fell by 17.1% last year.
Add to this the difficulty of saving for a down payment and first-time buyers who are unable to draw on funds from the sale of property face enormous difficulties. “More and more millennials are reaching the point in their lives where they are ready to buy a home,” said Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at an online property portal. “But they’re entering a highly competitive housing market that has been plagued by low inventory, especially among entry-level homes.”
The most balanced markets
To determine the best places for this sector to buy a home, the survey examined the 35 largest property markets in the US. The survey took three main factors into consideration: affordable house prices, low competition and strong growth prospects.
The south-east of the country turns out to offer easily the best opportunities to first-time buyers. Florida takes top spot with Orlando and Tampa property both in the top four. Texas also ranks well on the list with two metro areas in the top five and three in the top ten.
Tampa property best of all
Out of the 35 markets, Tampa ranked the best for first-time buyers. Statistics point to strong population growth, a reasonable supply of property and moderate house price rises. Population growth in Tampa is expected to reach 1.9% this year. The recent Cushman & Wakefield 2018 Florida Population Report placed the metro area in eighth place for growth.
Predictions are that prices for Tampa property will rise by 3.1% this year, on a par with the national average. For their part, Cushman & Wakefield expect the metro area to continue to register strong growth as a “major powerhouse in Southwest Florida”.
Houston property good for first-time buyers
One of the fastest-growing metro areas in the US, Houston property also ranks well in the survey for those buying their first home. Population growth comes in at a strong 1.7% and the metro area registered very strong employment growth in 2017. The survey predicts a 2.7% rise in Houston property prices over 2018, although given the bullish performance of the market last year, this may well be higher.
Orlando another top spot
Orlando is no stranger to top rankings in property surveys and this is no exception. Joining Tampa property in the top five, Orlando comes in fourth position. The survey predicts 2.3% population growth for the metro area over the next year (Cushman & Wakefield expect a higher 3.2%). Forecasts are that property prices will rise by 3.5%, one of the highest on the listing.
(Source: Zillow, Cushman & Wakefield)