Many millennials are itching to become homeowners — here are the 17 best cities to put down roots

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You just have to know where to look. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
  • More than 80% of millennials say buying a home is a priority for them.
  • Homeownership is more attainable in some cities than others, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.
  • Texas is home to six of the top-20 best cities to buy your first home, while Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took the No. 1 spot.

Home prices are up and supply is down across the US, but buying a house isn’t as tough as it may seem. You just have to know where to look.

More than 80% of millennials say becoming a homeowner is a priority for them, according to NerdWallet’s latest homebuyer report. Many are considering it “the next step in my life” and plan to buy within the next five years.

Affordable real estate is hard to come by in America’s coastal cities. Migrating to the Midwest or the South is a smart bet if you’re looking to put down roots at an affordable cost.

That’s evidenced by SmartAsset’s annual list of the best places for first-time homebuyers. SmartAsset gathered housing data for 64 metros (the US cities with a population over 300,000) related to securing a loan, the value of the average home, stability of the housing market, and affordability.

Each city was ranked in seven categories, and then given an average score. We narrowed down the list to feature the cities with a total score of 55 or higher, out of a possible 100.

Below, check out the top 17 best places for first-time homebuyers.


17. Raleigh, North Carolina

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Loan funding rate: 76%

Value per square foot: $US128.67

Median listing price: $US347,248


16. Corpus Christi, Texas

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Loan funding rate: 67%

Value per square foot: $US90.33

Median listing price: $US209,900


15. Denver, Colorado

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Loan funding rate: 76%

Value per square foot: $US322.33

Median listing price: $US485,000


14. Arlington, Texas

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Loan funding rate: 71%

Value per square foot: $US102.83

Median listing price: $US229,000


13. Charlotte, North Carolina

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Loan funding rate: 76%

Value per square foot: $US108.83

Median listing price: $US298,900


12. Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Loan funding rate: 75%

Value per square foot: $US138.00

Median listing price: $US329,000


11. Fort Worth, Texas

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Loan funding rate: 71%

Value per square foot: $US94.42

Median listing price: $US246,925


10. Dallas, Texas

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Loan funding rate: 67%

Value per square foot: $US90.58

Median listing price: $US399,000


9. Louisville, Kentucky

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Loan funding rate: 76%

Value per square foot: $US100.67

Median listing price: $US164,900


8. Wichita, Kansas

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Loan funding rate: 82%

Value per square foot: $US91.67

Median listing price: $US154,900


7. San Antonio, Texas

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Loan funding rate: 62%

Value per square foot: $US80.50

Median listing price: $US229,500


6. Indianapolis, Indiana

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Loan funding rate: 75%

Value per square foot: $US74.33

Median listing price: $US149,900


5. Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Loan funding rate: 73%

Value per square foot: $US77.75

Median listing price: $US163,740


4. Houston, Texas

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Loan funding rate: 71%

Value per square foot: $US87.50

Median listing price: $US329,950


3. Omaha, Nebraska

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Loan funding rate: 82%

Value per square foot: $US113.08

Median listing price: $US229,950


2. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Loan funding rate: 77%

Value per square foot: $US83.75

Median listing price: $US184,900


1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Loan funding rate: 81%

Value per square foot: $US91.00

Median listing price: $US212,000