Pittsburgh over California: First-time homebuyers should avoid these metros

California is home to five of the ten worst metros for first-time homebuyers, and Los Angeles found itself at the top of that list. 

Consumers should avoid the City of Angels when looking to settle down for the first time, and instead travel more than 2,400 miles East to Pittsburgh, according to Bankrate.

In the latest survey, 50 of the largest metro areas across the nation were reviewed and ranked on several factors that first-time homebuyers should take into account during the buying process such as affordability, employment factors, housing market tightness, safety, and wellness and culture. 

Bankrate analyst Jeff Ostrowski said that the two-year housing boom “widened the affordability gap between low-priced and high-priced metro areas.” On top of that, remote work is now making it “possible to keep the fatter paycheck while living in a cheaper area,” Ostrowski added. 


Beachgoers were enjoying the beach in Los Angeles County (Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The data showed that Los Angeles topped the list as the worst metro area in the nation because of its low ranking in several categories. Overall, it ranked 49th in affordability, 48th in employment factors, 39th in housing market tightness and 30th in safety. 

It did, however, rank third-best for wellness and culture, according to the data. 

Aside from Los Angeles, four other California cities such as Riverside, San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego also ranked within the top ten worst metros for first-time buyers.  


Although they ranked high in wellness and culture, San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Riverside all ranked at the bottom of the list in terms of affordability, according to the data. 

beach san francisco

A small group of people walk in front of the Golden Gate Bridge at Baker Beach in San Francisco.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu / AP Newsroom)

“Other than California, popular destinations for younger populations were home to some of the other bottom ten worst metro areas,” according to the report. 

This includes Las Vegas, which ranked 49th overall, followed by Seattle, which ranked 48th, Denver, which came in at 45th, and Houston, which ranked 44th overall. 

Las Vegas did not rank well in terms of employment factors and safety while Seattle did not rank well in terms of affordability and housing market tightness, according to the data. Denver did not do well in terms of affordability and housing market tightness and Houston did not rank well for wellness and culture, employment factors and safety.


Meanwhile, Pittsburgh was declared the best metro for first-time homebuyers because it ranked first in affordability, second for housing market tightness and it came in third for safety. 


Pitttsburgh skyline. (iStock / iStock)

However, Pittsburgh landed at the bottom of the list for wellness and culture as well as employment factors. 

Worst five metros for first-time homebuyers 

1. Los Angeles

2. Las Vegas

3. Seattle

4. Riverside

5. San Jose

Source: Bankrate

Best five metros for first-time homebuyers 

1. Pittsburgh

2. Minneapolis

3. Cincinnati

4. Kansas City

5. Buffalo

Source: Bankrate

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