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(WHENEVER) Best cities for Arizona home buyers: Gilbert leads in affordability
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Study: Phoenix suburbs a good bet for first-time homebuyers

Two Phoenix-area cities ranked high on a list of the top housing markets for first-time home buyers.

WalletHub placed Gilbert fourth and Chandler 10th on its list of best medium-sized cities for those making their entry into the housing market.

Looking at a number of factors ranging from housing costs to property taxes and crime rates, researchers gave Gilbert second place ranking for housing affordability among the 300 small, medium-sized and large cities, analyzed for the study.

Gilbert was second only to Cambridge, Massachusetts for housing affordability list.  Chandler, meantime, was fourth after number-three ranked Cary, Indiana.  Broken Arrow, Oklahoma rounded out the top five.

Despite reports of low inventory and questions about affordability, the number of first-time homebuyers is on the rise, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Matching their highest share since 2012, first-time buyers represented a 32 percent share of existing home sales in the month of May, up from 27 percent in 2014.

And that percentage is expected to grow in the coming years.

According to a recent TD Bank Survey, some 62 percent of potential first-time buyers are making plans to buy a home within the next two years.

The survey also tapped into a few points of interest about those looking to purchase their first home.

Among the findings:

• Almost 70 percent said they wanted a move-in ready home, while just over 30 percent said they would buy a fixer-upper.
• Forty-three percent said they were looking to buy their home in a suburban area compared to 20 percent who said they wanted to live in a big city or metro area.
• Also, some 22 percent looking to purchase their first home said they couldn’t find a home in their price range. Others cited debt as a major obstacle in preventing them from saving for a down payment.

Join Realtor Diane Brennan for That Real Estate Show Sundays at 8 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM.

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