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W.Va. No. 1 in first-time home buyers

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Despite the recent recession stalling home ownership for tens of thousands of first-time home buyers, West Virginia is actually bucking the trend by leading the nation in first-time home ownership.

The National Association of Realtors said within the past decade, the share of first-time home buyers in the Mountain State increased nearly 58 percent, while foreclosures have remained almost non-existent at 0.01 percent.

 The average house in West Virginia goes for about $116,000, according to Zillow, a real estate website. Meanwhile, the site states the average house in the U.S. sells for slightly less than $189,000.

With a 30-year mortgage the average house payment in West Virginia is $550 a month, far less — nearly 40 percent — than the median national rent price of $950 monthly, the GOBankingRate found.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said this trend is “an encouraging sign.”

Nationally, he said, the 32 percent of of homes purchased in May 2015 were by first-time home buyers.

The national trend, Yun said, is stemming from strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgages and lenders offering low down-payment plans…


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