Bloomington, Ill., is the Best Market for First-Time Home Buyers

By realtor.com4 days ago


SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --First-time buyers looking for an affordable home as well as job opportunities and quality of life may have to bypass major urban cities for more rural, secondary cities as the competition heats up for finding a home. In fact, they will have the best luck in Bloomington, Ill., according to 's 2021 Best Markets for First-Time Home Buyers analysis.

With four of the top 10 markets, the Midwest ranks as the best region of the country for first-time home buyers, who according to the National Association of Realtors, account fornearly one-third of recent buyers. Iowa City, Iowa, ranked No. 2 in this analysis followed by Kalamazoo, Mich.; Great Falls, Mont.; Eau Claire, Wis.; Savannah, Ga.; Schenectady, N.Y.; Taylorville, Utah; Harrisonburg, Va. and Rapid City, S.D.

“With 50% fewer homes on the market this year than last, the U.S. housing market is competitive for all buyers. First-time buyers are at a bigger disadvantage since they don't have the funds from a previous home sale to help with their down payment or compete with bidding wars. Our recent survey of potential first-time home buyers confirmed this with 44% indicating they haven't saved enough for a down payment,“ said Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “While relocating isn't an option for everyone, the pandemic has caused many to rethink their priorities, including where they want to live. This analysis was meant to provide some insight for those who are open to expanding their search as they weigh their homeowner options.“

To determine the best markets for first-time home buyers, the majority of whom are millennials, many between the ages of 25 and 34, took into account six factors, including housing prices relative to local incomes, the share of 25- to 34-year-olds living in the market, the availability of homes for sale, job opportunities, distance to work and amenities such as bars and restaurants. To achieve geographic diversification, the ranking was limited to one city per state.

All of the top 10 best markets have median home prices below the current national median price of $370,000. Kalamazoo, Mich., has the lowest median home price at $155,000 and Taylorsville, Utah, the highest at $350,000.

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