The best cities for first-time homebuyers in 2020

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

On to Oklahoma

Planning to buy your first home this year? Then say hello to Oklahoma. According to a new analysis, the Sooner State is home to the best city in the nation for first-time homebuyers.

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First-time homebuyers: head to these cities

According to a new study from title insurance company First American, Oklahoma City is the single-best spot for first-time homebuyers, offering decent housing supply and affordable listing prices for the average renter.

In fact, according to the data, the median renter in Oklahoma’s capital can afford a whopping 74% of all homes for sale.

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In Louisville, Ky., renters can afford 73% of homes available, while in Memphis, Tenn., they can afford 72%. Other cities that offer a large supply of homes for first-time homebuyers include: Birmingham, Ala. (71%); Kansas City, Mo. (71%); Pittsburgh (70%); Tampa, Fla. (69%); Atlanta (68%); Indianapolis (68%); and St. Louis (66%).

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Not-so-good for first-timers

On the other end of the spectrum are cities like Los Angeles, where the median renter makes just $50,592 per year but faces average home prices of over $640,000. Under these conditions, median renters can afford a mere 6% of all homes on the market. 

Other California cities like San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento all rank low on the list as well. 

According to First American’s deputy chief economist Odeta Kushi, younger Americans may want to look outside these bustling hubs if they want to buy a home in 2020.

“While expensive markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston, are attractive destinations for many reasons, there are attractive alternatives for millennial first-time homebuyers,” Kushi said. “Smaller cities such as Oklahoma City, Louisville or Memphis are affordability-friendly because the median renter’s house-buying power in these cities allows first-time homebuyers to consider a much larger selection of homes to buy.”

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