Here’s what potential home buyers need to know.

Santa Barbara Skyline
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It’s brutal out there—and by out there, we mean the real estate market. House prices still remain high and interest are climbing. For context, the data shows that the median sales price was $313,000 in the first quarter of 2019, and it’s gone up further to $436,800 in the first quarter of 2023. In terms of interest rates, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has grown from 2.65% in January 2021 to 6.39% in May 2023. So yeah, home buying can seem so out of reach for many people right now.

WalletHub just released its 2023 Most Affordable Cities for Home Buyers report, and there is proof that it’s not all doom and gloom for some parts of the country. And I say some parts of the country because the West is looking more expensive than ever—in the top 10 list of affordable cities, only one city in the West made the list: Yuma, Arizona. And for the top 10 least affordable cities, nine out of 10 were located in the West. 

To determine the rankings, WalletHub compared a sample of 300 U.S. cities across 10 key metrics: housing affordability, maintenance affordability, average cost of homeowner’s insurance, cost of living, cost per square foot, real-estate tax rate, rent-to-price-ratio, median home-price appreciation, quarterly active listings per capita, and vacancy rate.

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Are you ready to see which cities made the list? Here they are below, plus the top 10 most affordable cities after that:

Top 10 Least Affordable Cities for Home Buyers

1. Santa Barbara, California

2. Berkeley, California

3. Santa Monica, California

4. Glendale, California

5. Burbank, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Boulder, Colorado

8. Pasadena, California

9. New York, New York

10. San Francisco, California

Top 10 Most Affordable Cities for Home Buyers

1. Montgomery, Alabama

2. Flint, Michigan

3. Toledo, Ohio

4. Detroit, Michigan

5. Akron, Ohio

6. Warren, Michigan

7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

8. Yuma, Arizona

9. Springfield, Illinois

10. Palm Bay, Florida

Other key report takeaways about the West showed that Honolulu, Hawaii, has the lowest median real-estate tax rate with 0.30%—that’s 12 times lower than the city with the highest, which is Waterbury, Connecticut, at 3.59%. Santa Monica has the lowest rent-to-price ratio with 1.66%, compared to the highest city, Flint, Michigan, with 26.64%. And South Gate, California, has the lowest vacancy rate at 2.02%, while Miami Beach, Florida, has the highest at 35.24%. Check out the full report at WalletHub.

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