Best Markets for First-Time Buyers

A man and a woman look at an online map of house listings on a smart tablet

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What makes for a great market for first-time buyers? Areas that have strong job markets, short commute times, affordability, high inventories of homes for sale, and a population that skews younger, according to®’s newly released Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers Report.

“Buying a first home is always a challenging undertaking, and it’s been an especially tough couple years for first-time buyers, many of whom are struggling to find a home that’s within their budget to win in a competitive bidding situation,” says Danielle Hale,®’s chief economist. “With this in mind and the fact that remote work has given people more flexibility in where they live, we wanted to identify markets where first-timers have a chance to become homeowners and find a great quality of life.”® found a lot of commonalities in markets that tend to be havens for first-time home buyers. For example, the top markets generally offer nearly twice the number of homes for sale than the national average. Also, they have a younger population than the country overall:—an average of 15.2% of residents who are between the ages of 25 to 34 years old, compared to 13.5% for the nation. They also tend to offer more affordable homes with the home price-to-income ratio in the top markets lower than the national average.

All the cities on®’s list are located within metro areas that are predicted to have strong home sales and price growth in the future too, making them likely smart investment buys as well.

The following are the 10 markets that topped®’s list as best markets for first-time buyers in 2022:

Ten U.S. cities ranked on various features appealing to first-time buyers.