Hardest places to buy a home in America

By Nadia Ahmad | SmartAsset

While affording a down payment may be the largest challenge to buying a home, many other factors play into finding the right place to take out a mortgage and put down roots. Inventory and pricing vary widely by city and affect buyers’ options and ability to negotiate. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly complicated many people’s home buying prospects as they face greater unemployment and investment losses. Though mortgage rates initially ticked upward in March as the crisis intensified in the U.S., mortgage rates typically fall when an economy slows. As such, prospective buyers should have patience and do their research.

In this study, we uncovered the cities where it is hardest to buy a home, accounting for affordability, inventory and pricing in each place. Specifically, we analyzed the down payment-to-income ratio, the number of homes on the market compared to number of households and the average price cut for homes that sold recently. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

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