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2019's Best & Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

With July being one of the top months for home sales and nearly 40% of 2018’s single-family home purchases made by first-time buyers, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019's Best & Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers as well as accompanying videos.

To determine the most favorable housing markets for first-time buyers, WalletHub took the pulse of real estate in 300 cities of varying sizes using 27 key metrics. The data set ranges from housing affordability to real-estate tax rate to property-crime rate.

Best Cities for First-Time Home Buyers   Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers
1 Tampa, FL   291 Elizabeth, NJ
2 Overland Park, KS   292 Daly City, CA
3 Thornton, CO   293 El Monte, CA
4 Grand Rapids, MI   294 Newark, NJ
5 Boise, ID   295 Westminster, CA
6 Greeley, CO   296 San Mateo, CA
7 Peoria, AZ   297 Oakland, CA
8 Arvada, CO   298 Santa Barbara, CA
9 McKinney, TX   299 Detroit, MI
10 Centennial, CO   300 Berkeley, CA

Best vs. Worst

  • Akron, Ohio, has the most affordable housing (median house price divided by median annual household income), with a ratio of 1.83, which is 8.2 times cheaper than in Berkeley, California, the city with the least affordable housing, with a ratio of 15.04.
  • Honolulu has the lowest real-estate tax rate, 0.29 percent, which is 12.9 times lower than in Waterbury, Connecticut, the city with the highest at 3.74 percent.
  • Cleveland has the highest rent-to-price ratio, 16.00 percent, which is 6.1 times higher than in Sunnyvale, California, the city with the lowest at 2.61 percent.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana, has the lowest average energy cost per household, $93.58, which is 4.2 times lower than in Honolulu, the city with the highest at $388.65.

View the full report and your city’s rank.