Housing Report

This Houston neighbor is one of the best cities for first-time homebuyers

This Houston neighbor is one of the best cities for first-time buyers

Pasadena Strawberry Park Pavilion
Another win for Pasadena. City of Pasadena/Facebook

One bright spot in 2020 has been the housing market. With interest rates at historic lows, people are making the move to buy a new home — for many, their very first. And where should those first-time homebuyers look? All around Texas, according to a new national study.

SmartAsset recently released its 2020 edition of the best cities for first-time homebuyers, and eleven Lone Star cities, including one in the Houston area, appear on the nationwide list of 40.

To determine the rankings, the financial advice site compared 185 of the largest cities in the country across metrics in four categories: home market favorability, affordability, livability, and employment.

Houston neighbor Pasadena ranks No. 23 and makes a strong showing for market favorability, affordability, and employment. While SmartAsset gives it a low score for livability (only 39.22 out of 100), Zillow and Yelp recently crowned it one of America's top 10 under-the-radar suburbs

Garland, No. 8, is the only Texas city to land in the top 10. The Dallas neighbor scores especially well in the employment (No. 3) and home market favorability (No. 13) categories.

Between 2013 and 2018, Garland's median home value jumped 56 percent, "the fourth-highest increase of any city in our top 10," SmartAsset notes. During the same time period, the median household income grew almost 32 percent. "With incomes rising, individuals may be able to put more money toward their savings and potential down payment," the site says.

The other Texas cities joining Garland and Pasadena on the list are:

  • Frisco, No. 11
  • Irving, No. 12
  • Arlington, No. 18
  • Plano, No. 24
  • Corpus Christi, No. 26
  • McKinney, No. 27
  • Amarillo, No. 33
  • Brownsville, No. 37
  • El Paso, No. 39