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Where Are the Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers?

AEI Housing Center revealed that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the most affordable metro for the first-time homebuyers in 2018, with a first-time buyer (FTB) ratio of 2.4. 

The FTB uses the ratio of home prices to income for each individual buyer. San Jose, California, was the least affordable metro with a ratio of 5.3. Both metros have occupied the top and bottom rank since 2014.  

The report states that across the 50 metros studied, the average FTB ratio was 3.3, which means first-time buyers spent 3.3 times the household income to purchase a home. 

AEI Housing Center states that affordability from 2013 to 2018 has taken a hit due to home prices rising faster than incomes in many metros. Home prices in Denver, Colorado, for first-time buyers grew 59%, from $230,900 to $367,000. Incomes during the same period increased just 28%, from $65,000  to $83,000. 

Black Knight reveals that home-price appreciation had its largest single-month increase in two years in September, rising 0.2% to 3.95% for the month—the highest its been since March when home-price growth was in a 16-month slow trend. 

The average home price is up 54% from the bottom of the market from early 2012, and is 15% higher than the pre-crisis peak set in June of 2006. 

AEI reports that California is home to six of the 10 least affordable metros—San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and Riverside-Santa Barbra. 

Joining Pittsburgh on the list for best metros for first-time buyers are Cleveland, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Detroit, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Houston, Texas. 

Memphis jumped from No. 12 in 2017 to No. 6 in 2018. The ten least affordable metros were unchanged from the year prior. 

Information from ValuePenguin states that millennial homeownership fell 20% between 2009 and 2016. 

The report found that the population of homeowners under the age of 35 fell from 9.2 million in 2009 to 7.3 million in 2016. Additionally, the number of millennials who are renting during that same period increased from 14.6 million to 15.2 million.

ValuePenguin said that these millennial homeowners accounted for more than 12% of all U.S. homeowners in 2009. Also, within the millennial age group, the number of homes owned by millennials fell by 18.5% over eight years.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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