15 American cities where competition to buy a home is fiercest right now

  • The US housing market is finally starting to cool off, but competition among buyers is still fierce in some cities.
  • Those in the best position to buy a home typically have mortgage financing in place, a credit score above 680, and a down payment above 15%.
  • But many markets, like San Francisco and San Jose, have an oversaturation of these buyers, leading to heightened competition.

It may get easier for some Americans to buy a home this year as prices finally level off, but several markets are still competitive.

In a recent report, LendingTree identified the most competitive markets for buyers right now based on 2018 mortgage loan data. LendingTree looked at 1.5 million mortgage requests for new home purchases and then ranked the 50 largest metros based on three criteria:

  1. The share of buyers who shop for a mortgage before they find the house they want. It's more appealing to sellers when a buyer is pre-approved for financing well before making an offer.
  2. The average down payment as a percentage of the purchase price. A high down payment can help buyers qualify for an even larger mortgage amount or a lower interest rate on the loan.
  3. The percentage of buyers who have a credit score above 680. Someone with a prime credit score has more financing options available to them.

The cities where the most buyers have financing in place, a down payment above 15% of the purchase price, and a prime credit score were ranked by LendingTree as the most competitive.

Below, check out the 15 most competitive places to buy a home in the US right now:

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15 fiercest homebuying markets in the US
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15 fiercest homebuying markets in the US

15. New York, New York

Average down payment: 17%

Buyers with prime credit: 58%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 55%

14. San Antonio, Texas

Average down payment: 14%

Buyers with prime credit: 55%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 63%

13. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Average down payment: 14%

Buyers with prime credit: 52%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 63%

12. Phoenix, Arizona

Average down payment: 15%

Buyers with prime credit: 48%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 64%

11. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Average down payment: 14%

Buyers with prime credit: 58%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 63% 

10. Boston, Massachusetts

Average down payment: 16%

Buyers with prime credit: 57%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 60%

9. Sacramento, California

Average down payment: 15%

Buyers with prime credit: 50%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 65%

8. Seattle, Washington

Average down payment: 19%

Buyers with prime credit: 65%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 59%

7. Las Vegas, Nevada

Average down payment: 14%

Buyers with prime credit: 52%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 66%

6. St. Louis, Missouri

Average down payment: 19%

Buyers with prime credit: 65%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 61%

5. San Jose, California

Average down payment: 19%

Buyers with prime credit: 65%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 61%

4. San Francisco, California

Average down payment: 17%

Buyers with prime credit: 59%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 62%

3. Portland, Oregon

Average down payment: 15%

Buyers with prime credit: 57%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 65%

2. Los Angeles, California

Average down payment: 17%

Buyers with prime credit: 55%

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 64% 

Buyers pre-shopping for a mortgage: 67%

1. Denver, Colorado

Average down payment: 16%

Buyers with prime credit: 56 

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