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The Best Markets for First-Time Buyers

First-time home buyers are flooding the market, with WalletHub reporting 39% of single-family home purchases in 2018 were made by people buying their first home. 

WalletHub released its latest list of the best and worst cities for first-time buyers, [1] with Tampa Bay, Florida, being named the best market for first-time buyers. 

While Tampa Bay comes in around the middle of the pack at No. 147 in affordability, it has a “real estate market” rank of No. 2 and came in at No. 13 for quality of life. 

Tampa Bay also came in as the best large city for first-time buyers. The next highest Florida metro to make the list was Orlando, which came in at No. 18. 

Overland Park, Kansas, came in at No. 2, and was followed by Thornton, Colorado; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Boise, Idaho, to round out the top-five. 

A trio of markets in Ohio—Akron, Toledo, and Cleveland—were named the most affordable markets. California claimed all five of the least affordable markets with San Mateo, Sunnyvale, Glendale, Santa Barbara, and Berkeley. 

Berkeley was named the worst market for first-time buyers, as it also had one of the worst real estate markets and quality of life rankings. 

Santa Clara, California, came in at No. 1 for highest cost of living. Laredo, Texas, was reported to having the lowest cost of living, and was followed by Flint, Michigan. 

Affordability issues are not-uncommon for the West Coast [2], as a recent report by Realty Hop found Los Angeles, California, to be the least affordable metro in the nation, as it requires 91.4% of the homebuyers income to afford a home. 

Miami, Florida, was a close second at 87.8%, and was followed by New York, New York (85.3%), San Francisco, California (73.8%), and Oakland, California (68.1%). 

Los Angeles saw a 1.44% increase in its homeownership burden, and home prices jumped to an average of $899,000. Los Angeles is also home to the fifth-highest estimated mortgage payment of $4,151.