In many pockets of the country, first-time homebuyers hold the key to growth. However, young homebuyers have been a head-scratcher for some real estate experts, so WalletHub recently released a list of the most and least attractive markets for first-time homebuyers.

  • The best overall city for first-time homebuyers is Overland Park, Kansas, thanks to a high quality of life ranking.
  • Oakland and Miami rank as the least affordable big cities for first-time homebuyers.
  • Texas communities fill the top eight of the "real estate market" category.

In many pockets of the country, first-time homebuyers hold the key to growth. However, young homebuyers have been a head-scratcher for some real estate experts, so WalletHub recently released a list of the most and least attractive markets for first-time homebuyers.

The Best and Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers rankings use 19 key metrics across 300 cities of all sizes. Analysts looked at housing affordability, real estate taxes, property crime rates and quality of life.

Specifically, the report looks at three categories: affordability, real estate market and quality of life. These three components contain more granular information as well.

The real estate market category considers home appreciation rate, foreclosure rate, housing market health, percentage of homes sold, rent-to-price ratio and more.

Quality of life measures weather, recreation, driver-friendliness, job availability, schools and more. Affordability looks as homeowner insurance, tax rate and cost of living.

According to the rankings, Overland Park, Kansas, is ranked as the top market for first-time homebuyers. With a total score of 68.49, the city ranks high for quality of life.

And although the state didn’t rank in the No. 1 spot, Colorado concentrated the top 10 cities.

Greeley, Thornton, Longmont and Centennial all ranked in the top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers and were among the top cities for quality of life. Nine out of the 10 best housing markets for first-time homebuyers for quality of life are in Colorado, which also holds five of top 10 markets overall.

The tenth best city for quality of life for first-time homebuyers is Joliet, Illinois. Located about an hour south of downtown Chicago, Joliet is the state’s fourth-largest city. And just 40 minutes away and coming in at no. 13 for quality of is Naperville, which was also named as one of best places to live in a 2014 list by Money Magazine.

First-time buyers looking for a great deal, specifically on real estate conditions, need to look no further than Texas. The Lone Star State’s cities dominate the top eight spots in the category. Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston, Frisco and Laredo rank in the top five spots consecutively for real estate markets.

Source: WalletHub

Which large cities rank best and worst for first-time homebuyers?

Large cities, especially those on the West Coast, are not the best for first-time homebuyers. According to WalletHub, Oakland ranks as one the worst large cities for this group (no. 298), scoring poorly in affordability and quality of life.

Miami (no. 294 overall) and Miami Beach (no. 299 overall) are the second-worst and worst cities for affordability, the report says, and both cities also rank in the bottom-half of real estate markets.

New York City’s culture may be attractive to the younger crowd, but it’s not too friendly for first-time buyers. NYC ranks no. 293 overall and sits at 285 and 287 out of 300 in quality of life and affordability.

Long Beach and Los Angeles also rank as some of the worst markets for first-time buyers, sitting at 284 and 285, respectively. Neither city has affordability or quality of life rankings above 245 out of 300.

Washington D.C. ranks no. 283 on the overall list, scoring poorly in both affordability and quality of life — but it also sits at no. 45 in the real estate market category.

Although not quite as low as other top metros, Chicago also ranks as a place first-time homebuyers should probably avoid, sitting at no. 245 overall and failing to crack anything higher than no. 207 in all three scoring categories.

Email Kimberly Manning

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