Where First Homes Are Flourishing

A stronger economy means many would-be homeowners are thinking seriously of buying that first home. Which states have the most first-time homebuyers?

California and New York don’t make the cut for top states for first-time homeowners.

With the economy continuing to strengthen, many wannabe homeowners have decided it’s time to buy that first home, according to a GOBankingRates survey of the 10 states with the most growth in first-time homebuyers while maintaining lower levels of foreclosure rates.

Seven out of the 10 states fall in the Northeast, including the top three. Arizona was the only western state in the contiguous U.S. to make the list. 7 Washington, D.C., has the highest median price of a home on this list at more than $500,000 – but also boasts one of the lowest foreclosure rates (.01%).

First-time homebuyer stats are from 2003 to 2013, and also show some interesting data for the top states. In West Virginia, the share of new first-time home buyers increased 58%. Foreclosures this year remained low, at 0.01%. The median home sale price is reportedly $115,850, with a monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage costing around $550 a month.

New Hampshire’s portion of homebuyers looking to purchase for the first time increased 89%. The state’s foreclosure rate is .05% and the median sales price $224,700. Buying is still cheaper than renting: A monthly mortgage payment is around $1,060 on a 30-year loan, compared with the median rent price of $1,250 in the state.

Rhode Island had the largest amount of growth in first-time homebuyers; its rate of this type of borrower nearly doubled. Foreclosures are also fairly low at 0.06%. The median rent is reported at $1,400, the monthly 30-year mortgage payment is about $1,030 based on a median sale price of $217,625.

Vermont saw a 48% rise in first-time homebuyers. The state also has one of the lowest foreclosure rates, at .02%. The ratio of first-time homebuyers in Massachusetts jumped 74%. The state also has a foreclosure rate on the lower end. Hawaii had a 53% increase in first-time homebuyers and has a foreclosure rate of .03%. The state offers a mortgage credit certificate that can reduce the federal income tax homeowners owe.

The top 10 states for homebuyers are:

  1. West Virginia
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Vermont
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Hawaii
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Wyoming
  9. Maine
  10. Arizona