The study analyzed the 50 largest metropolitan areas based on the share of buyers shopping for a mortgage before identifying the house they wanted to purchase, the average downpayment percentage, and the share of buyers with credit scores above 680. LendingTree theorized that more competitive buyers have higher credit and the ability to offer larger downpayments.
Based on its distinctive criteria, LendingTree cited Denver as the market with the most competitive homebuyers, where 67 percent of property seekers shopped for a mortgage before settling on a home. Denver also boasted a 56 percent share of buyers with good or excellent credit, and an average down payment rate of 16 percent.
Los Angeles ranked second, with a 64 percent share of buyers who shopped around for a mortgage before settling on a house—55 percent of those buyers had a good excellent credit score and a 17 percent average downpayment. Portland ranked third, with a 65 percent share of buyers who shopped around for a mortgage before settling on a house—57 percent of those buyers had good or excellent credit and the average downpayment was 15 percent.
At the other end of the spectrum, LendingTree cited Birmingham, Ala.; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Pittsburgh have the least competitive buyers in the country. In those three markets, only 43 percent of mortgage shoppers had prime credit, compared to an average of 49 percent across the 50 largest metros.