The 10 best markets for first-time homebuyers in 2023

With high interest rates and home prices predicted to persist in the year ahead, there’s no doubt that affordability will continue to be a big challenge for anyone in the market to buy a home in 2023. This will be especially true for first-time buyers, who don’t have the equity from a current home to help make a down payment on a new home.

For buyers with flexibility in where they can live, there are markets across the country where first-time buyers can not only find more affordable homes for sale but that also offer a mix of strong economic opportunities and popular lifestyle amenities that make them great places to live.

To help identify the best markets for first-time homebuyers in the year ahead,® analyzed a number of qualities that make a town attractive, including affordability, livability and where it might be easier for young buyers to break into the housing market. 

Top 10 markets for first-time buyers

The top 10 markets for first-time homebuyers in 2023 are: 

  1. Portsmouth, Va.

  2. DeForest, Wisc. 

  3. Windsor Locks, Conn.

  4. Gloucester City, N.J. 

  5. Moore, Okla.

  6. Magna, Utah

  7. Eggertsville, N.Y.

  8. Watervliet, N.Y.

  9. Mattydale, N.Y. 

  10. Somersworth, N.H.

What makes these towns great for first-time buyers? 

The top 10 markets identified for first-time buyers have strong job markets, short commute times, plenty of places to eat and drink, a younger population, affordability, and more homes to choose from. Let’s dig in a little more.

  • More homes to choose from: With the number of homes for sale still near historic lows, having more homes to choose from can make a world of difference.®’s best markets for first-time homebuyers have an average of 48 listings per 1,000 households, higher than the national rate of 45.  
  • Short commutes: This year’s top towns have an average expected commute time of just 24 minutes – that’s significantly faster than the national average of 30 minutes. 
  • Options for food and drinks: The top towns have an average of 5.6 food and drink establishments per 1,000 households in their metro area, higher than the national rate of 5.3. 
  • Younger residents: This year’s list has an average of 15% of residents in the 25-34 year age category, compared to the national average of 13%. 
  • Affordability: The best markets offer an average listing-price-to-income ratio of 3.5 for 25-34 year-olds, much lower than the national rate of just over 5. 
  • Strong housing markets: This year’s markets are located within metro areas that have an average forecasted 2023 home sales growth rate of 1%, higher than the national rate, which is expected to decline -14%.

Ready to find and buy the perfect home? 

Understanding the process and steps can be the most difficult part of buying a home. If you are a first-time home buyer and looking for the information and tools you need to successfully navigate the homebuying process this year, check out our free First-time Homebuying 101 guide. There you’ll find the tips, tricks, resources, and tools you need to be successful. You can even see if you qualify for down payment assistance

When you are ready to start searching,®’s Buying Power tool enables you to save your personal information to your account profile, so each home listing will show if it is “affordable,” “a stretch,” “difficult” or “out of reach” based on your specific budget. That makes searching for and finding your perfect home so much easier. 

If you’re planning to buy or selling your house, work with a real estate professional so you have the expert insights you need to make the best possible move today and we would love to assist, please fill out the form below.


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