First-time Home Buyers
Where to Buy

How Austin stacks up to the best cities for first-time homebuyers

How Austin stacks up to the best cities for first-time homebuyers

7101 Ripley McKinney house for sale
Austin has a great market, but our affordability is out of control. Photo courtesy of Ebby Halliday Realtors

Austin rents are expensive, so logic says that maybe it's time to buy. But how easy will that be in Austin? Not as easy as other parts of Texas, according to WalletHub's latest rankings of the best and worst cities for first-time homebuyers.

The personal finance site compared 300 cities of varying sizes across across 23 key indicators of market attractiveness, affordability, and quality of life. Broken down into weighted metrics, that means things such as cost of homeowners insurance, median home-price appreciation, recession recovery, job market, and even weather were taken into consideration.

Austin ranks No. 86 overall. While our real estate market is tops (No. 13), our affordability ranking is, not surprisingly, one of the very worst (No. 258). And we clock in at No. 52 for quality of life. 

North Texas shines on this list, taking the top three spots: McKinney is No. 1, Frisco is second, and Allen is third. Richardson sneaks in at No. 7, and Denton (No. 11), Carrollton (No. 18), and Grand Prairie (No. 21) also rank highly.

The Capital City does outrank Texas' other major metros. Dallas appears all the way down at No. 120, which is only slightly better than No. 136 San Antonio and Houston at No. 186.

Not surprisingly, four of the bottom five cities are in California: Santa Monica, Oakland, and Berkeley join Miami Beach, with Santa Barbara coming in dead last.