Real Estate Rankings

Houston declared No. 3 best real estate market for first-time homebuyers

Houston declared No. 3 best real estate market for first-time buyers

Houston skyline
Houston is the third best market for first-time buyers. Photo by Zview/Getty Images

Saving up for a down payment is tough — especially if you're single — but Texas seems to be a little more forgiving to first-time homebuyers.

Zillow ranked the 35 largest U.S. housing markets to determine the best for first-time buyers, and three Texas cities make it to the top 10. The real estate website looked at things such as affordable homes with little buyer competition and strong forecasted home value appreciation.

The highest ranking is No. 3 Houston, thanks to a proliferation of price cuts (16.7 percent of all listings here had at least one) and a strong inventory of available homes (26,275 as of January 2018). A healthy population growth of 1.7 percent, coupled with Zillow's forecasted home value growth of 2.7 percent, certainly makes H-Town a desirable city for first-timers.

Coming in at No. 5 is San Antonio, where a growing population can expect a sizable amount (18.8 percent) of the 8,036 currently available homes to have had a price cut. The Zillow Breakeven Horizon, the time it takes for buying to be financially advantageous compared to renting, isn't spectacular at two years, but the real estate website's Home Value Index is an affordable $169,300.

Dallas squeaks in at No. 10 with a Zillow Home Value Index of $220,900. Prospective homebuyers can expect price cuts on 15.4 percent of local listings, and the Breakeven Horizon in Big D is better than Alamo City: only one year and eight months.

Of all homebuyers, Zillow has found that 42 percent are jumping into real estate for the first time. Where should those newbies be looking? Tampa (1), Indianapolis (2), and Orlando (4) join Houston and San Antonio in the top five. Philadelphia (6), Atlanta (7), Las Vegas (8), and St. Louis (9) come in ahead of Dallas.

Surprising no one, metro California cities are the most difficult in which to buy your first home.