Another Top-10 List — Best States for First-Time Homebuyers

In some states it is easy for first-timers to buy a home – both the underlying required jobs are there and housing affordability and availability meshes with the requisite earnings capacity. Not all states, however, are as hospitable to the new prospective Millennial homebuyers. Ease of homeownership, however, does not automatically correspond to the location where the buyer would prefer to live.

To identify the easiest and also the most challenging states for today’s first time homebuyers, looked at all 50 states focusing on the following metrics:

  • Housing Affordability — median home prices from CoreLogic and the National Association of Realtors® plus the five-year income estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for households aged 25 to 44
  • Job Market for Young Adults – 2016 employment data and unemployment rates for workers aged 25-34
  • Housing Market Tightness – the percentage of vacant homes for sale or rent as supplied by the Census Bureau, and the spread rate between the growth rate in housing stock and the percentage change in households from 2010 to 2015
  • Credit Availability – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act percent of loan applicant rejections (turndowns), plus interest rates vary across the country at any point in time
  • Millennial Homeownership Rate (under 35)

What are the easiest states for first-time homebuyers, based on’s methodology? None of the top-10 are coastal states – with the nearest to the ocean being Vermont. Perfect 10 scores ( a good thing) and the respective metric included:

  • Iowa – Housing Affordability
  • North Dakota — Young Adult Job Market
  • Minnesota — Millennial Homeownership

3-9-17 table1


As always, there are winners and losers. The 10-most challenging states for first-time homebuyers are listed in the following table. There are three perfect scores again – but these are perfect zero scores. This time a perfect 10-score is a bad thing. Hawaii ranked the worst (zero) for both Housing Affordability and Millennial Homeownership Rate. Colorado’s Tight Housing Market also scored a zero. All of these are challenging homebuyer markets – and just not for Millennials.

3-9-17 table 2


To read the entire study and view the relative rankings of all 50 states click

Sometimes things are cheap because there is little demand.


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