The 10 finest cities for first-time homebuyers in 2023

First-time homebuyers seeking relief from lofty home prices and high interest rates can find properties within reach in the nation’s less-heralded markets.

The Midwest is home to many of the 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers entering the new year, according to a recent Zillow analysis. Metropolitan areas as far south as Little Rock, Arkansas to as far northeast as Syracuse, New York offer prospective borrowers lower home prices, sizable price cuts and both urban and outdoor lifestyles that are not so different from pricier coastal destinations.

“Not only will shoppers find more affordable monthly mortgage costs and have an easier time qualifying for a smaller loan, but rent also is more affordable than elsewhere in the country, shortening the time it takes to save for a down payment,” said Orphe Divounguy, Zillow senior economist in a press release. 

Zillow analyzed and ranked metros on mortgage affordability, rent affordability, inventory-to-buyer ratio to indicate supply and the share of listings with a price cut, weighing affordability metrics higher than the other components. National Mortgage News spoke with mortgage and real estate professionals in each market to learn why their cities are attractive options for new homeowners. Their answers have been edited for clarity and length.

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