First-time homebuyers: Here’s where you can find affordable housing

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

First-time homebuyer havens

For first-time homebuyers, choosing the right location is key. And according to a new analysis? That location just might be Memphis, Tennessee.

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Where first-timers can find affordable housing

According to a new analysis from title insurance company First American, less than half of the nation’s major markets are affordable for first-timers, making a smart choice of location key. Fortunately, there are still some cities where homes are largely affordable, and Memphis, Tennessee tops the list.

In Memphis, on $37,130 salary, the median renter can afford 71 percent of available homes on the market. Oklahoma City buyers can also afford more than 70 percent of the area’s properties.

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Other cities where first-time homebuyers have the most buying power include Pittsburgh (where they can afford 69 percent of homes); Atlanta (66 percent); Cincinnati (66 percent); Kansas City, Missouri (65 percent); Tampa, Florida (65 percent); Detroit (62 percent); St. Louis (61 percent); and Chicago (60 percent).

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Out of reach for first-timers

The cities that are most out of reach for first-time buyers are, unsurprisingly, located largely on the West Coast.

In Los Angeles, the median renter can afford a home priced at $270,292 or less. Fewer than 2 percent of all available homes on the market fall into this category. First-time buyers in other California cities, like San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Riverside also find themselves in similar circumstances.

New York City; Portland, Oregon; Denver; and Boston also have low shares of affordable housing for first-time buyers.

Get today’s mortgage rates

Are you a first-time homebuyer looking for an affordable place to put down roots? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Jan 26th, 2022)