It’s not an easy housing market for first-time homebuyers, with tight inventories continuing to push home prices upward and tighter credit standards by lenders. But mortgage rates are near historic lows and July is one of the top months nationwide for home sales.
First-time homebuyers usually make up one-third of all home purchasers. So the personal-finance website WalletHub took an in-depth look at 2016’s best and worst housing markets for those looking for their first slice of the American Dream.
WalletHub’s analysts examined 300 cities of varying sizes. WalletHub’s data set ranges from housing affordability to real-estate tax rate to property-crime rate.
Best Cities for First-Time Home Buyers
1 Overland Park, KS
2 Greeley, CO
3 Thornton, CO
4 Cedar Rapids, IA
5 Westminster, CO
6 Longmont, CO
7 Boise, ID
8 Lincoln, NE
9 Centennial, CO
10 Lexington, KY
Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers
300 Newark, NJ
299 Miami Beach, FL
298 Oakland, CA
297 Berkeley, CA
296 Santa Barbara, CA
295 Compton, CA
294 Miami, FL
293 New York, NY
292 Paterson, NJ
291 Inglewood, CA
Some Other Highlights: Best vs. Worst
• Santa Monica, Calif., has the lowest housing affordability, 6.6 percent, which is 12 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest, 76.5 percent.
• Honolulu has the lowest real-estate tax rate, 0.29 percent, which is 12 times lower than in Waukegan, Ill., the city with the highest, 3.49 percent.
• Detroit has the highest rent-to-price ratio, 23.17 percent, which is six times higher than in Sunnyvale, Calif., the city with the lowest, 3.64 percent.
• Laredo, Texas, has the lowest cost-of-living index, which is three times lower than in New York, the city with the highest.
• Mission Viejo, Calif., has the lowest number of property crimes per 1,000 residents, 8.9, which is 12 times lower than in Miami Beach, Fla., the city with the highest, 102.7.
• Shreveport, La., has the lowest average energy cost per household, $127.60, which is four times lower than in Honolulu, the city with the highest, $504.30.