Best and Worst Places in America for First-Time Home Buyers in 2022

Bankrate presented the results of the “Best Metros for First-Time Homebuyers of 2022” study, where it analyzed 11 data points for the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country, and found that Pittsburgh ranks as the most attractive place for first-time buyers, by offering a mix of affordable housing, strong local economies and real estate markets they are not too fizzy.

At the other end of the ranking, he found that the least attractive region is the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, where blazing prices in California generally make first-time buyers stop.

Bankrate classified metropolitan areas into five categories: house prices relative to local wages, the tightness of the local housing market, crime rates, the job outlook, and health and wellness.

Based on the score, the best areas for first-time buyers are:


It scored high on affordability, tight housing market, and security. The Pittsburgh area lagged behind in only one area: Its employment score was hurt by a comparatively high unemployment rate.

2. Minneapolis

It ranked sixth in the labor market category, thanks to a low unemployment rate. While it didn’t dominate in any other category, the metro area did well, posting top 15 results for wellness, culture and safety.

3. Cincinnati

Doing well in affordability, coming in fourth, and in the safety category, coming in seventh overall.

4.Kansas City

It ranked first in the narrowness of the market. In this category, Bankrate ranked metro areas based on the number of homes for sale compared to a year ago and how quickly those homes are selling. In an intense seller’s market across the country, the area stood out as the least biased market.

5. Buffalo

It ranked in the top 10 for affordability and tightness of the real estate market.

At the bottom of the ranking is a group of five metropolitan areas with high house prices and tight housing markets.

The worst areas for first time buyers are:

46. ​​San Jose

The San José metropolitan area boasts the highest salaries in the country. Most households headed by people ages 25-44 earn more than $150,000 a year. Unfortunately, that money is not enough in the most expensive real estate market in the country.


Buyers in California can find better prices farther away from Los Angeles or San Diego. Long travel times pushed Riverside down the rankings. Lower incomes compared to coastal Southern California also make affordability a challenge.


Young adult-headed households have solid incomes, but home prices are so high that real estate is still hard to afford. The real estate market is short on inventory, putting even more pressure on first-time buyers.

49. Vegas

Rising home prices and an active market have made Sin City less attractive to first-time buyers. The Las Vegas area was also swept up in a lingering job hangover from the pandemic that still hangs high.

50. Los Angeles

It is the second largest metropolitan area in the country, but known for its high housing prices and low incomes. Households headed by people ages 25 to 44 have a median income of $80,643. Los Angeles’ strong point was the wellness and culture category, but they weren’t enough to lift it from last place.

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