These Are the Top 10 Markets for First-Time Buyers in 2024

published Apr 9, 2024
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Sunrise reflection of the St Louis skyline along the Mississippi River
Credit: Paul Brady Photography/Shutterstock

Buying a home in today’s market is a tall task. Not only do you have to figure out how much money to save before buying, but you also have to consider affordable states, interest rates, how much you need to make annually, and much, much more. Fallout from the 2024 NAR lawsuit promises to change the future of buying and selling forever for homebuyers, but there’s still so much that remains unknown and overwhelming.

As if that weren’t enough weighing on an already-important decision, there are also housing markets to consider. Thankfully, a new Zillow report published on April 4 ranked the top 10 markets for first-time home buyers based on four metrics. 

To find the top 10 markets for first-time home buyers, Zillow looked at rent affordability (defined as the share of median household income spent on rent); the ratio of affordable for-sale inventory to renter households (more inventory per renter, for the purposes of this report, was an indicator of less competition in each listing); the share of households aged 29-43 (more households with a similar age, according to Zillow, meant a higher score in this category); and the share of availability inventory found on Zillow that the median household could comfortably afford (which Zillow defined as spending “no more than 30% of income on an estimated monthly mortgage cost”).

Based on the data that Zillow gathered, the most affordable market for first-time buyers is St. Louis, Missouri. Affordable listings currently comprise 67% of affordable listings as a percentage of total for-sale inventory, and the average household spends 20% of their median household income on rent — well under the 30% that financial experts recommend the average person budget for housing costs.

Detroit, Michigan, placed in Zillow’s report, with affordable listings making up 64% of the city’s inventory. Meanwhile, home-buying-aged households between the ages of 29 and 43 make up 24% of the city’s total households.

Third place went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, with Indianapolis, Indiana, following closely behind in fourth place.

Here are the top 10 best markets for first-time home buyers in 2024.

  1. St. Louis, Missouri
  2. Detroit, Michigan
  3. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  4. Indianapolis, Indiana
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  7. San Antonio, Texas
  8. Birmingham, Alabama
  9. Kansas City, Missouri
  10. Baltimore, Maryland

You can check out Zillow’s full report for yourself here.