These Are the Best Cities for New Homebuyers in 2022

Chase Gardner

By: Chase Gardner

Published February 25, 2022

Reading time: 9 minutes

These cities have both the real estate markets and lifestyle amenities to satisfy buyers making the leap into first-time home ownership.

Many Americans dream of one day owning a home, and millions of people make that aspiration a reality every year. Over 6 million homes were sold across the country in 2021 alone, and U.S. housing markets are on track to remain hot throughout 2022. A first home is an exciting investment no matter the circumstances, but not all starter homes are created equal. Given the current booming real estate climate, recent economic fluctuations, and the COVID-19 pandemic’s lingering effects on work and everyday life, prospective homeowners have plenty of factors to consider.

Fortunately, some cities are making the choice easier for first-time homebuyers. While every city has something to offer prospective homeowners, ideal locations boast in-demand real estate with steadily increasing home values (indicative of upward-trending community goods and services), low unemployment rates, strong public school engagement, and safe environments for drivers and pedestrians. Curious to see which metropolitan areas across the U.S. provide these amenities, the data scientists at Insurify turned to their database of over 4.6 million insurance applications, as well as data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Realtor.com, to identify the best city for new homebuyers in every state in 2022.

Icon map of the U.S. showing the best city for new homebuyers in every state.

Insights

  • National averages. Across the 288 most populous metropolitan areas in the country, the average median list price for a home on the market is $366,467, and the median home listing is on average 11% more expensive than it was in January 2021. The U.S. employment rate is 3.9%, and 89.3% of Kindergarten through 12th-grade American students were enrolled in public schools, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, 18.2% of drivers in the average U.S. city have a prior at-fault traffic violation on record.

  • Home values are soaring in top cities. While the median home listing price has increased by a significant 11% year over year across the 288 largest cities in the country, prices have shot up by an average of 20% in the best cities for new homebuyers. These real estate markets are largely projected to stay hot in 2022, so homeowners there should expect to see their property’s value increase even further over the coming months.

  • First time homebuyer? Florida beckons. While Naples takes the crown as Florida’s best city for new homebuyers in 2022, the state boasts many metro areas that should appeal to first time owners. In fact, 6 Florida cities score among the very best in the country for first time homebuyers. Sunshine State cities like North Port and Cape Coral boast steadily rising home values and are exceptionally safe places to walk and drive.

Methodology

The data scientists at Insurify, a site to compare home insurance quotes, analyzed both proprietary and public data to identify the best city for new homebuyers in every state. They rated each metro area using a composite score based on factors including real estate value and demand, employment levels, public school enrollment, and driver and pedestrian safety.

Insurify researchers referred to data from Realtor.com to evaluate real estate demand and home value trends across U.S. metro areas. Cities with hotter home markets and rising real estate prices received a higher score, as homebuyers there are more likely to see the value of their home increase over time. The Insurify data science team used city-level public school enrollment statistics and unemployment rates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s December 2021 unemployment report, respectively. These variables determined each metro area’s educational engagement and employment scores, which were higher for cities with higher public school enrollment and lower unemployment rates.

Researchers at Insurify turned to their database of over 4.6 million car insurance applications to calculate citywide measures of driver and pedestrian safety. Cities were evaluated for rates of at-fault accidents, DUIs, speeding tickets, failure to stop, and failure to yield to pedestrian violations. Cities with lower rates of these infractions received higher safety scores.

This study considered the 288 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. States with insufficient municipal data were excluded from this analysis.

The findings in this article represent statistical trends found in Insurify’s analysis of national real estate data. The findings of this study are not meant to imply the direction nor necessarily the existence of a causal relationship. Rather, this is a presentation of statistical correlations of public interest.

What's the best city for new homebuyers in 2022?

Rapid City, SD, is the best city for new homebuyers this year, earning a perfect 100.0 overall appeal score. Real estate in the city is in high demand, and Rapid City students attend public schools at an above average rate. Plus, its unemployment rate is just 2.4%.

The Best Cities for New Homebuyers in 2022

Alabama: Decatur

  • Overall appeal score: 69.8 (72% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $259,500

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 19.5%

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Arizona: Phoenix

  • Overall appeal score: 63.2 (23% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $495,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 17.2%

Arkansas: Fayetteville

  • Overall appeal score: 65.6 (11% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $385,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 19.4%

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California: San Jose

  • Overall appeal score: 55.9 (58% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $1,298,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 16.3%

Colorado: Denver

  • Overall appeal score: 50.8 (27% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $639,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 22.1%

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Connecticut: Bridgeport

  • Overall appeal score: 63.0 (18% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $969,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 11.1%

Florida: Naples

  • Overall appeal score: 98.2 (48% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $795,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 14.6%

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Georgia: Gainesville

  • Overall appeal score: 60.9 (39% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $450,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 23.9%

Hawaii: Kahului

  • Overall appeal score: 84.3 (44% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $1,240,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 8.3%

Idaho: Coeur d’Alene

  • Overall appeal score: 66.0 (19% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $858,150

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 19.2%

Illinois: Rockford

  • Overall appeal score: 39.1 (70% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $147,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 16.6%

Indiana: Elkhart

  • Overall appeal score: 84.7 (55% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $199,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 16.1%

Iowa: Des Moines

  • Overall appeal score: 29.2 (66% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $332,950

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 27.1%

Kansas: Topeka

  • Overall appeal score: 75.9 (35% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $159,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 18.1%

Kentucky: Elizabethtown

  • Overall appeal score: 76.9 (41% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $250,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 13.5%

Louisiana: Monroe

  • Overall appeal score: 63.9 (47% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $259,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 12.5%

Maine: Portland

  • Overall appeal score: 66.8 (45% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $499,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 13.4%

Maryland: Hagerstown

  • Overall appeal score: 56.4 (55% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $310,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 20.2%

Massachusetts: Boston

  • Overall appeal score: 51.6 (32% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $724,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 14.1%

Michigan: Monroe

  • Overall appeal score: 57.2 (46% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $234,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 14.6%

Minnesota: Rochester

  • Overall appeal score: 53.7 (45% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $360,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 21.0%

Mississippi: Jackson

  • Overall appeal score: 50.7 (16% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $270,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 13.2%

Missouri: Joplin

  • Overall appeal score: 72.6 (42% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $217,500

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 17.4%

Nebraska: Omaha

  • Overall appeal score: 58.8 (48% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $370,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 21.4%

Nevada: Las Vegas

  • Overall appeal score: 63.2 (5% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $460,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 11.6%

New Mexico: Albuquerque

  • Overall appeal score: 49.0 (10% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $369,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 13.8%

New York: Utica

  • Overall appeal score: 44.3 (28% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $179,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 16.3%

North Carolina: Burlington

  • Overall appeal score: 68.0 (38% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $325,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 15.5%

North Dakota: Fargo

  • Overall appeal score: 27.1 (33% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $343,500

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 21.9%

Ohio: Columbus

  • Overall appeal score: 42.3 (66% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $299,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 25.2%

Oklahoma: Tulsa

  • Overall appeal score: 53.7 (4% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $262,500

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 16.7%

Oregon: Bend

  • Overall appeal score: 42.3 (21% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $609,990

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 18.2%

Pennsylvania: Lancaster

  • Overall appeal score: 60.4 (53% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $369,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 17.3%

South Carolina: Hilton Head Island

  • Overall appeal score: 71.1 (54% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $500,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 16.2%

South Dakota: Rapid City

  • Overall appeal score: 100.0 (37% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $417,770

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 19.9%

Tennessee: Kingsport

  • Overall appeal score: 71.1 (39% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $249,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 18.2%

Texas: Austin

  • Overall appeal score: 64.7 (43% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $545,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 17.3%

Utah: Ogden

  • Overall appeal score: 63.7 (22% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $495,000

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 21.4%

Virginia: Roanoke

  • Overall appeal score: 43.0 (38% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $299,990

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 24.1%

Washington: Bremerton

  • Overall appeal score: 52 (17% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $599,950

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 25.6%

West Virginia: Charleston

  • Overall appeal score: 45.3 (18% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $142,900

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 14.8%

Wisconsin: Wausau

  • Overall appeal score: 72.1 (47% higher than state average)

  • Median home listing price: $319,400

  • Share of drivers with at-fault infraction on record: 23.9%

Sources

Data Attribution

The information, statistics, and data visualizations on this page are free to use, we just ask that you attribute any full or partial use to Insurify with a link to this page. Thank you!

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

Chase Gardner
Chase Gardner
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Data Journalist

Chase Gardner is a data journalist at Insurify. He informs readers on major developments in the auto and home industries through research into driver behavior, homeownership tendencies, cost of living trends, and more. He received a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in Environmental & Urban Studies and Statistics from the University of Chicago. Chase’s work has been cited in MSN, Yahoo News, The Street, and dozens of local news outlets across the country.

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