Best Cities For First-Time Homebuyers In 2024

First-time homebuyers have made a big splash in the last few years, accounting for fully half of all purchases. But as competition for limited inventory remains high, they still face big hurdles to homeownership.

With this in mind, ranked the top cities for first-time buyers in 2024. The company looked at everything from “culture and liveliness” to expected sales and price growth in the nation’s 100 largest metros to create a breakdown of the best cities for young buyers.

Irondequoit, NY, took the number one spot, followed by Benton, AR, and Winterset, IA.

Rounding out the top ten were Newington, CT; Council Bluffs, IA; Cheektowaga, NY; Grand Rapids, MI; Moore, OK; Mattydale, NY, and Riviera Beach, MD.

The survey noted that for most of these cities, buyers will have to consider trade-offs: greater affordability but less culture, for example. Only Benton, AR, ranked as “good as” or “better than” the average city/town for each of the eight metrics measured by

Regardless, all of these markets are expected to see an influx of young buyers thanks to their strong number of relatively affordable active listings, job opportunities, entertainment and culture options, and steady real estate markets.

It’s unsurprising that Midwestern and Northeastern cities made this list considering the regions’ recent surges in popularity thanks to their relative affordability.

“Housing markets are healthiest where affordable home prices and strong employment are giving young hopefuls a real shot at buying and starting to build equity,” Anushna Prakash, data scientist for Zillow Economic Research, noted of the trend.

Climate-related disasters are another factor that may be boosting these regions’ sales. Millennial and Gen Z buyers are the most likely to consider flood and fire risks when buying a home, driving some away from former hotspots in the South and West.

Millennials make up just under half of all first-time buyers.

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