best US cities for first-time homebuyers

As mortgage rates continue to rise and the possibility of a recession looms, there are many things for first-time home buyers to consider. The amount of information to consider when making such an important decision can be overwhelming.

But a recent Bankrate study could help ease the process – at least when it comes to deciding where to live.

Bankrate’s study of the best metro areas for first-time home buyers covers 50 metro areas, each scoring on affordability, well-being, labor market, market tightness and safety. The scores were then combined to create a final ranking, with affordability counting for 30%, well-being and culture counting for 10%, and housing market tightness, safety and employment factors counting. each for 20%.

Affordability was primarily calculated by comparing the income required to qualify for a mortgage in an area with the median home price at the start of 2022. The Labor Market Score used unemployment rates from the US Department of Labor as well as average travel times. According to, the tight housing market reflects housing inventory and the average time a home spends on the market.

To determine the safe score, Bankrate looked at FBI data on violent and property crime rates. And the Wellbeing and Culture Score looked at Sharecare’s Community Wellbeing Index from 2020, which assesses things that improve quality of life, such as access to food and health care. health, as well as the number of artistic centers existing in a given metropolitan area. . You can read more about the methodology here.

Ultimately, Pittsburgh tops the #1 US city for first-time home buyers. Hot on Pittsburgh’s heels is the Minneapolis metro area, followed closely by Cincinnati. Here are the top 10 best cities for first-time buyers according to Bankrate:

  1. Pittsburgh
  2. Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington
  3. Cincinnati
  4. Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas
  5. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, New York
  6. Richmond, Virginia
  7. Cleveland
  8. Saint Louis
  9. Hartford- West Hartford- East Hartford, Connecticut
  10. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis

Ranked #1 in affordability, #2 in market stress, and #3 in safety, it’s no surprise that Pittsburgh has retained the top spot, especially since most First-time home buyers tend to focus heavily on affordability. No other city in the ranking has secured the top three spots in three separate categories.

Pittsburgh has a median home price of $169,000, more than $1 million less than median prices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, Bankrate reports. Pittsburgh also offers plenty of entertainment options, from national sports teams to numerous museums.

However, Pittsburgh ranks 47th for its labor market, well below other top 10 metros and the lowest rank any top 10 metro has received in any category. Potential buyers will need to determine which categories matter most to them.

Each area in the top 10 scored in the top half of the accessibility rankings, with the lowest being the Milwaukee metro area at #22. This makes sense since accessibility scores had the most weight in the rankings. by Bankrate.

Register now: Be smarter about your money and your career with our weekly newsletter

Don’t miss: Jim Cramer: Make this smart investment in times of inflation and ‘economic chaos’

Leave a Comment