Buyers Markets Real Estate – The following are the 10 most popular real estate markets in the U.S. for first-time buyers. Four of them are in California’s Central Valley, three are in the South, two are divisions of the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area in the Northeast, and one is in the Midwest. The data was ranked by highest share of first-time FHA loans as a percentage of total sales in 2011.
The markets in this report were chosen based on the percentage of all home sales in the area made to first-time buyers with FHA-insured loans in 2011.
FHA loans are popular with first-time buyers because they can be used to purchase homes with as little as 3.5 percent down. First-time buyers have other financing options available to them, including other government-backed loans such as those guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as conventional loans, which are typically purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and require at least a 5 percent down payment with private mortgage insurance. Some buyers may also purchase their first home with cash.
- 1. Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J.
- 2. Charleston, W.Va.
- 3. Visalia-Porterville, Calif.
- 4. Merced, Calif.
- 5. Fresno, Calif.
- 6. Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va.
- 7. Modesto, Calif.
- 8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.
- 9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
- 10. Camden, N.J.
According to HUD, FHA’s national market share for purchase loans in 2011 was 29.8 percent, down from 32.2 percent in 2010, but considerably higher than its 4.5 percent market share in 2005 and 2006. More than half of first-time buyers (54 percent) chose FHA loans between July 2010 and June 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.