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Home » Housing » US Real Estate » Home Buying » Ranks "Most Affordable Cities For First-Time Home Buyers Ranks "Most Affordable Cities For First-Time Home Buyers

By RealtyBiz News | February 13, 2023

What are the most affordable cities for first-time home buyers?, the mortgage company for first-time home buyers, set out to find out.

Using public and private data sources, performed an objective analysis to rank the 800 largest U.S. cities as part of its 2023 study "Most Affordable Cities To Buy A House." Cities are rated on a relative scale from 100 to 0.

"Today's first-time home buyers can move to any city they want," says President Dan Green. "But, in some U.S. cities, housing dollars go farther - especially in the Midwest."

The study uses U.S. Census population data to categorize cities as Large, Mid-Sized, and Small and uses current mortgage rates and home values. It adjusts for 2023 municipal real estate taxes, local homeowners insurance premiums, and transportation and energy costs.

"For each city," Green says, "we wanted to know: 'What's the actual homeownership cost to first-time home buyers?'"

The Top 5 Most Affordable Small Cities In America:

  • Gary, Indiana
  • Canton, Ohio
  • Pontiac, Michigan
  • Lorain, Ohio
  • Muncie, Indiana

The Top 5 Most Affordable Mid-Sized Cities In America:

  • Flint, Michigan
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • St. Joseph, Missouri
  • Camden, New Jersey
  • Hammond, Indiana

The Top 5 Most Affordable Large Cities In America:

  • Macon, Georgia
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Syracuse, New York
  • Springfield, Illinois

"We weren't surprised to see Midwestern cities shine," says Green. "First-time buyers can buy much bigger homes for much less money between the coasts. Ongoing costs of homeownership are cheaper, too."

To determine the city affordability for first-time home buyers, built an algorithm that digests public and private homeowner data and calculates the relative cost of homeownership throughout the United States. The algorithm ranked the most affordable cities for U.S. home buyers from the 800 largest Census-recognized cities.

The analysis assumes the home buyer is a first-time buyer using a 30-year fixed-rate conventional mortgage, making a 3 percent down payment, and earning a modest household income for the area. It also assumes an average credit score with a decent history of paying bills on time. Real estate taxes, homeowners insurance premiums, and monthly transportation costs assume typical rates, coverage, and usage.

Read the most Affordable Cities To Buy A House list at

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