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Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Memphis are the best markets for first-time homebuyers right now, according to new data from Zillow. Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, and Birmingham, also made the top 10.

To determine which markets are best for those looking to buy their first home, Zillow looked for places where it’s more affordable to make a monthly mortgage payment than a monthly rental payment. Zillow also looked at median home values and competition, including how many homes the first-time buyer has to choose from and whether they are likely to be up against all-cash offers.

San Jose, Seattle and Austin are among the hardest places for first-time homebuyers to get in the market – a conundrum for many young people who move to those cities because of their hot job markets, only to find a limited and unaffordable selection of starter homes to choose from.

“Buying your first home is a big decision that takes a lot of planning,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “First-time buyers across the U.S. are up against high prices and low inventory, but these are the places where the availability of affordable, entry-level homes and the presence of cash-buyers are less of an issue. First-time buyers in these markets won’t have to deal with as many bidding wars or run-away prices; they’ll be able to find a first home that fits their needs with less stress. With record low mortgage rates, it’s a good time to buy a home and certainly worth considering.”

Zillow’s Top 10 Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers:

  1. Indianapolis
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Memphis, Tenn.
  4. Cleveland
  5. Chicago
  6. Oklahoma City
  7. St. Louis
  8. Houston
  9. Tampa, Fla.
  10. Birmingham, Ala.

In Indianapolis, buyers can expect to spend 11 percent of their income on a monthly mortgage payment, four percentage points less than the U.S. average. Renters, on the other hand, can expect to spend 26 percent of their income on monthly rent — incentive for renters in Indianapolis to become homeowners.

All markets on the list except Chicago have a median home value below the national average. The U.S. Zillow Home Value Index is $186,200.

For more information, visit www.zillow.com.

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