Where to Buy

Houston named one of the best real estate markets for first-time homebuyers — again

Houston named one of the best markets for first-time buyers — again

1 On the Market 5226 Mulford St. March 2015
This is the time to buy in Houston. Photo courtesy of © TK Images

Looks like Houstonians in the market for their first home have chosen the right time to buy. Not only are home values rising (while list prices remain relatively flat), but the city has again been named one of the best for first-timers.

A new report from SmartAsset ranks Houston fourth among the 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers in 2018. The finance company looked at seven factors to determine where first-time homebuyers should put down roots: number of HUD-approved lenders, loan funding ratio, average price per square foot, affordability ratio, stability score, price variance, and number of negative quarters from 2012-2017. 

Perhaps the biggest distinction for the Houston market is that "first-time homebuyers have no shortage of options when it comes to banks," says SmartAsset. "According to our data, there are 227 HUD-approved mortgage lenders in the city. For that metric, Houston ranks first."

Houston also boasts a price per square foot of only $87.50 and a loan approval rate of 71 percent. Plus, Houston has seen zero year-over-year quarters of negative growth in home prices. (Earlier this year, Zillow named Houston the No. 3 market for first-timers using a different set of metrics, including price cuts and inventory.)

Texas is home to three of SmartAsset's 10 best markets for first-time buyers, with San Antonio at No. 7 and Dallas at No. 10. The Alamo City is celebrated for its affordability, while Big D is deemed a safe housing market in which to invest. 

Five other Texas cities appear on the finance site's full list of 25: Fort Worth (11), Arlington (14), Corpus Christi (16), El Paso (20), and Austin (24).