Good news, guys: Conditions in the housing market are shifting, and based on the numbers we crunched, it should be easier than it has been in years for the first-time home buyer.
We’ve grown accustomed to the headline: It’s tough for first-time buyers to break into the market. Values of entry-level homes have been growing at a double-digit pace for more than two years. (Good luck saving for a down payment at that clip!) Not only that, but most of the homes actually available for sale are in higher price ranges. More buyers vying for the limited inventory of affordable homes on the market leads to bidding wars and a general feeling of frustration. Pair that with the burdens of paying high rents and student loan debt, and you can see how we’ve landed where we are.
Among the 50 biggest markets, the most significant slowdown in value appreciation is occurring in Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida.
But times are changing. Home values for entry-level homes, up 12.5 percent year-over-year in 2018, are up just 9.2 percent year over year in 2019. And inventory of these homes, which had been falling year-over-year for nearly four years, rose 4.1 percent in February, which marks the seventh consecutive month of increasing inventory (a fancy way of saying this isn’t a temporary blip). Prices slowing, more options: A win-win for first-time buyers!
Where is this shift most pronounced? Among the 50 biggest markets, the most significant slowdown in value appreciation is occurring in Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida. Salt Lake City, Utah, and San Jose, California, are experiencing the biggest increases in entry-level inventory. In a nutshell: Now might be the perfect time to get your financials in order and go house hunting!
Entry-level homes are those that are valued in the bottom third of the overall housing stock of a region. We take the median value of all entry-level homes in a region to determine the median entry-level value.