Report: Surprise, Gilbert are good spots for first-time home buyers

Jul 22, 2023, 10:00 AM

A Gilbert homebuilder was the winning bidder in a state land auction on June 28 at the Arizona Stat...

A Gilbert homebuilder was the winning bidder in a state land auction on June 28 at the Arizona State Land Department. (Rendering by Mark Boisclair)

(Rendering by Mark Boisclair)

PHOENIX — Two Arizona cities ranked within the top 10 of a report that lists the best U.S. cities for first-time home buyers.

With 26% of home purchases last year made by first-time buyers, the personal-finance website WalletHub recently released its Best & Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers report.

Surprise ranked sixth and Gilbert ranked seventh.

To create its list, WalletHub took the pulse of real estate in 300 cities of varying sizes using 22 key metrics. The data set ranges from housing affordability to real-estate tax rate to property-crime rate.

Palm Bay, Fla. ranked first on the list. The next four cities were also in Florida.

Berkeley, Calif. ranked 300th.

Springfield, Ill., has the most affordable housing (median house price divided by median annual household income), with a ratio of 1.67, which is 17.5 times cheaper than in Santa Barbara, Calif., the city with the least affordable housing, with a ratio of 29.24.

The full report is available online.

So, what should first-time homebuyers consider when choosing a neighborhood?

“A primary consideration should be how long they intend to stay in the home,” Brad Segal, the president of Progressive Urban Management Associates, said in a press release. “If it is for less than five years, then think about amenities and services that meet their current lifestyle – a nearby collection of restaurants, shopping, recreational activities, and perhaps close proximity to work may all be important.

“If it is for more than five years, then consider potential lifestyle changes over time – if raising a family is anticipated, the quality of schools, parks and trails, and family amenities may be more

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Report: Surprise, Gilbert are good spots for first-time home buyers