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First-time homebuyers, these are the cities for you: report

A view of the skyline of Bellevue, Washington. (Getty)

(NEXSTAR) — Home prices have been hot across the U.S. recently, largely postponing the dreams of potential first-time homebuyers. While navigating and affording the housing market seems challenging nationwide, a new report found there are some cities that offer more hope for first-time homebuyers.

In its recent analysis, SmartAsset compared 181 of the largest cities in the U.S. based on four factors: favorability, affordability, livability, and employment. Data for each was collected from the Census Bureau, the FBI, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Redfin.

Of the cities within the report, Newark, New Jersey was ranked as the worst for first-time homebuyers. Two other Garden State cities – Jersey City and Paterson – also landed in the bottom portion of SmartAsset’s rankings. Metro areas throughout New York and California joined New Jersey on the lower third of the list.

The best city for first-time homebuyers? Bellevue, Washington, according to SmartAsset. Found across Lake Washington from Seattle, Bellevue was determined to have one of the lowest unemployment rates of the 181 cities evaluated, and has seen one of the largest five-year increases in income. The city jumped from No. 14 on SmartAsset’s 2021 list.

Below are the top 10 cities for first-time homebuyers:

  1. Bellevue, Washington
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  3. Omaha, Nebraska
  4. Olathe, Kansas
  5. Nashville, Tennessee
  6. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  7. Sunnyvale, California
  8. Lincoln, Nebraska
  9. Denton, Texas
  10. Huntsville, Alabama

Multiple cities from California – 22 to be exact – comprise the majority of the worst cities for first-time buyers. Florida was second-worst with five earning a rank of 121st or worst.

Fresno (124)Fontana (141)Fullerton (157)
Modesto (129)Torrance (143)Irvine (161)
Riverside (130)Ontario (144)Los Angeles (165)
Glendale (135)Orange (149)Long Beach (166)
Escondido (136)Oakland (151)Huntington Beach (169)
Pomona (137)Stockton (153)Pasadena (175)
Lancaster (139)Bakersfield (154)
Anaheim (140)Rancho Cucamonga (155)
How 22 California cities, ranked among the worst on SmartAsset’s list, ranked. (SmartAsset)

Other notably large cities were among the bottom third, including Chicago, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Houston, Anchorage, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and St. Louis.

To view the full list, click here.

If you’re looking for an affordable place to buy a home, you’ll want to look at areas that are more rural and without large metro areas, a recent report from Realtor.com suggests. West Virginia was found to have the most affordable housing market in the nation, followed by Ohio and Arkansas.

Nationally, housing costs are still climbing. The government’s shelter index, which includes rents, hotel rates and a measure of what it costs to own a home, increased 5.5% in the past year, the most since 1991.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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