WalletHub analyzed 300 U.S. cities of varying size and used 23 metrics to grade each market on three criteria: affordability, the real estate market, and quality of life. Housing affordability was given triple weight.
Among large cities, Raleigh, N.C., was deemed the best market for first-time homebuyers. McKinney, Texas was the best midsize city, and Frisco, Texas was the best small city. The worst markets for those categories were Oakland, Calif., Newark, N.J., and Santa Barbara, Calif., respectively.