LendingTree looked at 1.5 million purchase mortgage requests that came through its marketplacein the 100 largest cities. The ranking took into account the share of buyers shopping for a mortgage before identifying the house they want; the average down payment percentage; and the percentage of buyers who have prime credit.
The ranking revealed that California markets dominate the top 10, with San Francisco and San Jose leading the rankings. LendingTree found that about 60% of home shoppers applied for a mortgage before identifying a house. The ranking further found that the two cities had the highest average down payment of any region at 19%. Additionally, home shoppers in the Bay Area with prime credit scores accounted for 64% of the competition.
The study also found that the top 10 most competitive markets are all in Western states.
On the other end of the spectrum were the most accessible cities of Youngstown, Ohio; McAllen, Texas; and Scranton, Pa. LendingTree found that only half of the shoppers in these cities applied for a mortgage before house hunting. Also, the average down payment is just 12%, and less than 40% have prime credit scores.
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The cities of San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., will see the fiercest competition among homebuyers in 2018, according to a ranking of the 100 most competitive homebuyer markets released by LendingTree.