North Texas Is No. 1

New rankings declare Dallas-area first-time homebuyers have it made

New rankings declare Dallas-area first-time homebuyers have it made

7101 Ripley McKinney house for sale
Looking to buy? Look in McKinney. Photo courtesy of Ebby Halliday Realtors

Rents are soaring, so logic says that maybe it's time to buy. But how easy will that be in Dallas-Fort Worth? WalletHub says very, according to its latest rankings of the best and worst cities for first-time homebuyers.

Not only are four of Dallas' suburbs in the top 10, but the top three are all North Texas: McKinney is No. 1, Frisco second, and Allen third. Richardson sneaks in at No. 7, but Denton (No. 11), Carrollton (No. 18), and Grand Prairie (No. 21) also rank highly.

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.

While McKinney's affordability isn't stellar (No. 191), its real estate market (No. 1) and quality of life (No. 7) rankings more than make up for it. With a total score of 68.32 out of 100, McKinney just barely holds onto the lead from Frisco's 68.2 and Allen's 68.15.

Allen ranks second overall for lowest property crime rate, while Laredo has the cheapest cost of living. If you separate the cities by population into large (more than 300,000 people), midsize (150,000-300,000), and small (fewer than 150,000 residents), McKinney still comes out on top for midsize, while Frisco and Allen clean up with first and second for the small category. Fort Worth shows up at No. 5 on the large cities list.

Elsewhere on the list, Plano ranks No. 29, Fort Worth is No. 33, and Garland takes No. 45. Closing out the top 100 are Amarillo (No. 51), Mesquite (No. 72), Austin (No. 86), Arlington (No. 96), Irving (No. 99). Where's Dallas? 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.