Beyond Affordability, These Are The Ten best Cities For First-Time Buyers

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April 11, 2016

With low inventory, especially at the entry-level end of the spectrum, many people who may currently wish to buy their first home are simply unable to do so.

While becoming a first-time homeowner isn’t impossible, it may not be likely right now, either. The share of first-time buyers has declined for three years in a row and sits at its lowest point in almost 30 years. In 2015, first-time buyers made up 32 percent of all buyers, down form 33 percent the year before. But for anyone who is determined to become a homeowner, Realtor.com has created a list of the ten best cities for first-time buyers.

Affordability plays a big role in which of these cities (chosen from the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas) made the list, but it wasn’t the only factor. Inventory, mortgage availability, job growth, and livability also played a significant role in compiling the list.

Virginia Beach, Va. kicks off the list at the number 10 spot thanks to its $256,00 median home price, 5 percent unemployment rate, and a plethora of low-density neighborhoods all within a short commute to a myriad of beaches.

Other cities on the list include Baton Rouge, La. (7), Albany, N.Y. (5), and St. Louis, Mo. (3). And while the number one city on the list may have a familiar name, its location may surprise you. Portland, Maine, with a median home price of $304,000 and an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, took the top spot.

It may not be as well known as its West Coast counterpart, but it resembles the city in more ways than just its moniker. With microbreweries and catch-of-the-day seafood restaurants galore, Portland, Maine gives Portland, Ore., hipsters something to be jealous of (you know, if Portland, Ore. has become too conformist).

If you're a first-time buyer looking for a new city to call home, you may just want to avoid California altogether, as it is home to all of Realtor.com’s bottom five markets for first-time buyers.

To see the full lists of both the best and worst places for first-time buyers, click the link below.

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