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Fort Myers ranked near bottom for Millennial home buyers

Lee Herald Favicon 16Fort Myers ranks as one of the least popular big cities in the nation for millennial home buyers according to an new study.

The Southwest Florida city comes in at 99th out of 100 cities that were evaluated by online loan company LendingTree for number of mortgage request by borrowers 35 or younger between Feb. 1, 2017 and Feb. 1, 2018. Fort Myers is joined by a number of Florida cities in the bottom 10 including Sarasota(100), Palm Bay (97), Lakeland (95), and Tampa (92). According to the study, the popularity of Florida communities among retirees helps to drive up costs, pricing some millennials who are just starting to build up financial assets out of the market.

Younger buyers in Southwest Florida are also facing a more intense version of a problem that is impacting prices around the country, tight inventory. With a lack of entry level homes being built or becoming available on the market, millennial buyers are facing ever rising prices.

“From a housing market perspective, tight inventory is boosting prices in many markets and millennial homebuyers must now contend with rising mortgage interest rates reducing their buying power,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree.

The study shows that despite the challenges, 32.5 of mortgage request came from millennials, with the average loan request for that group coming in at $166,863. Kapfidze said that fundamentals, like having a down payment and a good credit score, are still the keys for younger buyers who are looking to secure a loan.

“The biggest challenges for millennial homebuyers are having funds for a down payment and a good credit history,” said Kapfidze. “Potential buyers should educate themselves on how to improve their credit scores and create a savings plan to raise the down payment.”

Fort Myers has a higher than average loan request by those 35 and under at $179,451 and an average down payment of $24,074. The average credit score of applicants was 640.

For comparison, Des Moines, Iowa, was the most popular city in America for millennial buyers with 42.4 percent of mortgage requests coming from those 35 or younger. The average millennial buyer in that city was about 29 with a credit score of 645. The average loan request was $141,785 and the average down payment was $17,794.

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