St. Louis Is The Best City For First-Time Buyers

First-time homebuyers will find the best mix of affordability, low competition, and young homeowners in Midwestern metros, a new report says. Zillow named the best markets for first-timers in 2024, with St. Louis taking the number one spot. Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and Austin rounded out the top five. These cities offer reasonable prices and a relatively full arsenal of starter homes to choose from. Low-priced properties have been hard to come by due to rate lock-in keeping many families from moving up and a tendency for builders to produce big homes. That trend is changing, with builders now prioritizing smaller homes with fewer amenities, but until the construction wave is complete, first-time buyers need to prioritize metros that offer affordable…

First-Time Buyers Took Out Record Number Of GSE Loans In 2023

First-time homebuyers accounted for a record number of GSE purchase loans in 2023, while originations sunk to new lows, according to ICE’s latest Mortgage Monitor. They made up 55% of agency purchases last year, the highest share ever recorded by ICE in the ten years it has been tracking this metric. “The market in which these folks purchased their first home was one of record house prices, ballooning down payments, rising rates, and elevated DTIs,” Andy Walden, ICE Vice President of Enterprise Research Strategy, said. “Given record exposure to first-time homebuyer loans, it’ll be worth watching the performance of this cohort very closely moving forward, particularly for those invested in 2023 agency MBS.” First-timers and repeat buyers differed greatly in…

First-Time Buyers To Influence Top Housing Markets In 2024

First-time buyers are clinging to the dream of homeownership despite ongoing market challenges, creating opportunities for relatively affordable markets to explode in 2024. That’s according to Realtor.com’s 2024 Top Housing Markets forecast, which identifies ten metros primed for increased home sales and listing prices in the new year. The top markets, listed in order from number one, are Toledo, OH; Oxnard, CA; Rochester, NY; San Diego CA; Riverside, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Springfield, MA; Worcester, MA; Grand Rapids, MI; and Los Angeles, CA. “Now that we’re seeing the beginning of an affordability turnaround, homebuyers are still looking for markets where they can capitalize on lower prices,” said Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Even in some of the more expensive markets, we’ll see…

Fairway Rolls Out Down Payment Assistance Program For First-Time Buyers

Fairway Independent Mortgage is rolling out a new program for first-time homebuyers in select communities, the company announced in a press release. The program, called Fairway Community Access, will offer qualifying first-timers up to $7,000 towards the down payment and $500 in the form of an appraisal credit, should appraisal be necessary. Borrowers who plan to purchase a home warranty will also receive a credit toward one year of warranty. Buyers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia will be eligible for the program. They must currently reside in the designated community, have no ownership interest in any other property, and the home must be their primary residence. Fairway says FCA is designed to help buyers combat high-interest rates…

First Home Mortgage Launches New Program For First-Time Homebuyers

First Home Mortgage is launching a rate discount program for first-time homebuyers, the company announced in a press release. The program, First Home Advantage, gives eligible first-time homeowners access to lower interest rates. “We are excited to provide such a timely program,” said First Home Mortgage founder and CEO David Waters. “The First Home Advantage program levels the playing field for those who may have been overlooked in the past due to credit score issues.” Eligibility is based on annual income and geography, with different income limits in different areas. Borrowers in high-cost regions could be eligible with incomes as high as $168,600 a year. First Home says it created the program because more than 40% of loans it originated…

First-Time Homebuyers Are A Shrinking Share Of The Market, And Skewing Older

First-time homebuyers are fewer and older than ever before, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors. NAR’s 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the share of first-time homebuyers fell to its lowest point in the data’s history, while their median age rose to 36 years old, the highest point. NAR has been compiling this data since 1981. First-timers made up only 26% of all buyers, down from 34% last year. Their median age rose from 33 a year ago, while the typical repeat homebuyer’s age rose from 56 to 59, also a record high. The median expected home tenure for a first-time buyer was 18 years, yet another record and up 8 years since…

BOA Introduces No Down Payment, Closing Cost Mortgage Solution For First-Timers

Bank of America is introducing a zero down payment, zero closing cost mortgage solution for first-time buyers geared towards underserved communities. The Community Affordable Loan Solution will roll out in designated markets, including certain Black and Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, LA, and Miami. It is a Special Purpose Credit Program that operates off of factors like timely rent, utility bill, phone, and car payments. It does not require mortgage insurance and a minimum credit score. Eligibility is based on income and home location. Prospective buyers have to complete a homebuyer certification course from approved counseling partners prior to application. The program is in addition to BoA’s existing Community Homeownership Commitment program, which aims to help 60,000 individuals and…