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10 of the Hardest Metros to Snag a Home

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Housing Markets

10 of the Hardest Metros to Snag a Home


May 20, 2021
San Diego
Photo: f11photo | stock.adobe.com

Home prices are up in nearly every U.S. market while housing inventory is down, resulting in a competitive market, but these metros are the most competitive. SmartAsset identified the hardest places to purchase a home in America by analyzing the affordability, inventory, and pricing levels of the top 50 U.S. metros. The site reviewed the payment-to-income ratios, number of homes on the market compared to households, and the average price cut for homes sold recently. The majority of the hardest metros to purchase in are found on the West Coast in California, Washington, and Oregon. 

1. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA

San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, California has a competitive real estate market. It ranks in the bottom 20 metro areas for all three metrics: affordability, inventory and pricing. Specifically, San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad has the fourth-highest down payment-to-income ratio (1.47), the seventh-lowest average number of homes for sale in a month for every 10,000 households (65.45) and the 18th-lowest average price cut for home sales (2.19%).

2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California has the highest down payment-to-income ratio in our study, at 1.71. The area also ranks poorly when it comes to the number of homes available for purchase. Using Zillow and Census Bureau data, we found that fewer than 55 homes were for sale on average each month in 2020 for every 10,000 households. Relative to the other metro areas in the study, this is the fourth-lowest rate.

3. Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA

Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, California ranks in the bottom 40% of metro areas for all three metrics. It had the sixth-highest down payment-to-income ratio (1.13), the 11th-lowest average number of homes for sale in a month for every 10,000 households (76.52) and the 20th-lowest average price cut for home sales (2.29%).

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