First-time home buyers may want to avoid California when making their selection, according to an analysis released this week by financial website SmartAsset and reported by MarketWatch staffer Catey Hill.
The site examined data on housing affordability for people living in the area (as measured by the ratio of median household income over five years to ownership costs over five years, including closing costs, mortgage payments, insurance and taxes), ease of getting a mortgage and the stability of the housing markets in cities with populations of 300,000 or more.
Oklahoma City topped the list due to an affordable housing selection (the median home costs about $125,000, according to Zillow) and a healthy housing market. Tulsa, Okla. is second on the list; even though it has fewer mortgage lenders than Oklahoma City, it is even more affordable for residents with the median home costing just over $100,000. Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Houston round out the top five. (Added bonus: all of these cities have unemployment rates below the national average.)
Meanwhile, a number of cities in California are the worst for first-time homebuyers, thanks in part to the fact that they are unaffordable for many in the area and the markets tend to be volatile. Indeed, the seven worst cities on this list — Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Riverside, Stockton, Long Beach and Oakland — are all in California.