Denver is 'the most challenging' city in US for first-time homebuyers, says report

Installing a sign for a home for sale in Denver.
Hyoung Chang | The Denver Post | Getty Images
Installing a sign for a home for sale in Denver.

Denver is "the most challenging" city in the country for first-time homebuyers, according to a new report.

Mortgage company LendingTree ranked Denver toughest out of 100 cities nationally for first-time homebuyers, ahead of the next toughest cities, which included New York, San Francisco, Austin and Las Vegas.

LendingTree said it used the following criteria to come up with its rankings, including average down payment amount needed; the share of buyers using an FHA mortgage; average down payment percentage; percentage of buyers who have less than prime credit (below 680); the share of homes sold that the median income family can afford (Housing Opportunity Index); and average FHA down payment as a percentage of average down payment for all loans.

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"Denver is not the most challenging city in any single measure, having weak showings across the board, which could be (an) obstacle for first-time buyers. Down payments are high at $66,806, and even the FHA down payment is a considerable $22,841," LendingTree said in its report, which ranked Little Rock, Arkansas as the best U.S. city for first-time homebuyers.

Yesterday, it was reported that Denver ranked No. 1 nationally (tied with Seattle and San Francisco) for fewest months supply of inventory at 1.1 months. And earlier this month, the Denver Metro Association of Realtors' latest market trends report indicated January started off the year with a record-low inventory of home for sale in metro Denver — 3,869 listings.