Last week, NerdWallet compiled a ranking of the "Best Places for Homeownership," which analyzed select metrics in the 100 most populated metro areas in the U.S. to identify the top 10 small, mid-sized, and big cities for homeowners (of course, the small cities are still among the 100 most populated metros, so small is subjective). They set out to identify these cities by examining the following data: homeownership rate, and population growth. They also used median household income and monthly homeowner costs to measure cost of living, "to asses whether residents could live comfortably in the area." While these are all important metrics, they did not take into consideration the price of a new or existing home in these cities, which is quite high in Denver, Colo., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Raleigh, N.C.

We've used Metrostudy data to pull the median closing price for both new and existing homes, as well as the average household income of new and existing buyers (of course, there is a difference between the two). Our interactive map below displays the median closing pricing price for new home buyers by default. Selecting the briefcase icon will switch the display to show the average household income data, and selecting "Existing" will allow you to view both metrics for those buyers as well. 

These big cities are considered the top 10 for homeownership, but are big cities good places to search for a new home?

To re-rank the top 10 based on new homeownership, we used Metrostudy data to compare the median price for existing versus new homes. We calculated how much more home buyers in each market would pay for a new home based on last year’s median closing price. The percent increase represents the additional cost based on the existing home median closing price and shows the difference in median price. 

Gaps start with the top ranked Salt Lake City, where buyers will pay about one-third more for a new home than existing. Median closing prices for new homes in all ten, however, held under $300,000 last year, which is neither true for the top 10 mid-sized nor top 10 small cities. New home buyers in the top big cities for homeownership can also expect to find new homes for less than $200,000 more than existing, which based on higher average household incomes than smaller, neighboring cities bodes well for families who want to spring for new.

Builder-Metrostudy Remixed Rank:


1.  Salt Lake City, Utah


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $76,400


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 33.23%     


     NerdWallet Rank: #3

2.  San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $68,100


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 41.05%


     NerdWallet Rank: #6

3.  Raleigh, N.C.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $87,200


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 44.86%


     NerdWallet Rank: #1

4.  Birmingham-Hoover, Ala. 


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $82,300


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 51.44%


     NerdWallet Rank: #9

5.  Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. 


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $143,600


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 55.21%


     NerdWallet Rank: #10

6.  Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. 


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $100,200


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 61.51%


     NerdWallet Rank: #2

7.  Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $117,600


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 70.55%


     NerdWallet Rank: #5

8.  Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $108,200


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 72.18%


     NerdWallet Rank: #4

9.  Jacksonville, Fla.


     New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $110,000


     Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 76.66%


     NerdWallet Rank: #7

10.  Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind. 


       New vs. Existing Home Price Difference: $149,400


       Percent Jump Between Existing and New: 104.33%


       NerdWallet Rank: #8