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Why Chicagoland is a top 5 market for first-time homebuyers

by Peter Thomas Ricci

first-time-buyers-nar-profile-buyers-sellers

The Chicagoland area is one of the top first-time homebuyer markets in the country, according to a new study from Zillow.

The analysis, which looked for housing markets where mortgage payments were more affordable than rental payments (along with the relative competitiveness of the market), ranked Chicagoland’s housing market the fifth-best in the U.S. for first-time buyers. The numbers speak clearly to the advantages of owning – the average mortgage payment in Chicagoland requires 14 percent of monthly income, while the average rental payment requires 31.1 percent; meanwhile, inventory is high relative to other markets, and cash buyer competition is low.

“First-time buyers across the U.S. are up against high prices and low inventory, but these are the places where the availability of affordable, entry-level homes and the presence of cash-buyers are less of an issue,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “First-time buyers in these markets won’t have to deal with as many bidding wars or run-away prices; they’ll be able to find a first home that fits their needs with less stress.”

Below, we’ve charted the 10 first-time buyer markets Zillow ranked:

Metro Area % Monthly Income for Mortgage Payment % Monthly Income for Rent Available Inventory Cash Buyer Competition
Indianapolis 11% 26.1% High N/A
Pittsburgh 10.6% 24.2% High Average
Memphis 10.9% 27.0% Averge High
Cleveland 11% 26.2% High High
Chicago 14% 31.1% High Low
Oklahoma City 11% 25.6% Average Average
St. Louis 11.2% 23.4% High N/A
Houston 12.5% 30.5% Average N/A
Tampa 15.2% 32.2% High High
Birmingham 12% 26.7% High High

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