Aerial photo residential neighborhoods in Cape Coral Florida USA

In a new report released today by WalletHub, Cape Coral ranks near the top of the “2023’s Best & Worst Cities for First Time Home Buyers.” Even with the rapidly rising prices and the yearly threat of being wiped out by a hurricane. Wells running dry and people on bikes being run down. And Nile Monitor lizards. And that when you drive over the bridge and don’t have a transponder it’s now $5 because of the service charge. I just wanted a pizza. Despite all this. It’s still a great option for first time home buyers that can afford it.

Another study that may factor in on Cape Coral’s attractiveness to home ownership was this one. “Renting A House Is Cheaper Than Buying For Most Of The County – Except in Cape Coral“. That’s a piece we did back in March that showed the two markets in the country where this was true. Cape Coral, Florida and Springfield, Massachusetts. And now to the sudy.

In 2022, 26% of home purchases were made by first-time buyers.

Often, people begin searching for their dream homes without a realistic idea of market prices. Factor in interest rates or even their eligibility to get a mortgage.

Where a home is located is just as important as what features it has. If the neighborhood is unpleasant, it can sour the experience of a great home. Potential buyers may want to narrow their search down to an area with a good reputation before getting into housing details.

To simplify the process, WalletHub compared 300 cities of varying sizes across 22 key indicators of market attractiveness, affordability and quality of life. The data set ranges from cost of living to real-estate taxes to property-crime rate.

  • Main Findings

    Source: WalletHub
  • Best Places for First-Time Home Buyers

    Overall Rank City Total Score Affordability Real-Estate Market Quality of Life
    1 Palm Bay, FL 66.55 109 3 3
    2 Cape Coral, FL 65.07 149 2 17
    3 Tampa, FL 64.44 168 6 1
    4 Port St. Lucie, FL 63.36 202 1 23
    5 Orlando, FL 63.08 164 5 8
    6 Surprise, AZ 62.53 42 4 200
    7 Gilbert, AZ 62.08 41 18 109
    8 Boise, ID 61.7 48 24 33
    9 Chesapeake, VA 61.03 10 116 35
    10 Henderson, NV 60.61 20 48 54
    11 Lakeland, FL 60.19 130 23 13
    12 Chandler, AZ 60.14 49 40 98
    13 Thornton, CO 59.75 147 35 6
    14 Sunrise, FL 59.74 151 25 14
    15 Virginia Beach, VA 59.68 30 143 25
  • Affordable Housing

    Most
    • 1. Springfield, IL
    • 2. Peoria, IL
    • 3. Montgomery, AL
    • 4. Detroit, MI
    • 5. Flint, MI
    Affordable Housing
    Least
    • 238. Los Angeles, CA
    • T-239. Glendale, CA
    • T-239. Berkeley, CA
    • T-239. Santa Monica, CA
    • T-239. Santa Barbara, CA
  • Cost of Living

    Lowest
    • 1. Laredo, TX
    • 2. Flint, MI
    • 3. Erie, PA
    • 4. Jackson, MS
    • T-5. Oklahoma City, OK
    • T-5. Toledo, OH
    Cost of Living
    Highest
    • T-253. San Jose, CA
    • T-253. New York, NY
    • T-253. Honolulu, HI
    • T-253. Santa Clara, CA
    • T-253. Santa Barbara, CA
    • T-253. Sunnyvale, CA
  • Real-Estate Tax Rate

    Lowest
    • 1. Honolulu, HI
    • 2. Montgomery, AL
    • 3. Colorado Springs, CO
    • 4. Cambridge, MA
    • 5. Denver, CO
    Real-Estate Tax Rate
    Highest
    • 296. Rochester, NY
    • 297. Bridgeport, CT
    • 298. Elizabeth, NJ
    • 299. Paterson, NJ
    • 300. Waterbury, CT
  • Rent-to-Price Ratio

    Highest
    • T-1. Flint, MI
    • T-1. Dayton, OH
    • T-1. Detroit, MI
    • 4. Cleveland, OH
    • 5. Rochester, NY
    Rent-to-Price Ratio
    Lowest
    • 296. Sunnyvale, CA
    • 297. Santa Barbara, CA
    • 298. San Francisco, CA
    • 299. Berkeley, CA
    • 300. Santa Monica, CA
  • Median Home-Price Appreciation

    Highest
    • 1. Miami Gardens, FL
    • 2. Sunnyvale, CA
    • 3. Stockton, CA
    • 4. Richmond, CA
    • 5. Vallejo, CA
    Median Home-Price Appreciation
    Lowest
    • 296. Waterbury, CT
    • 297. Peoria, IL
    • 298. Jackson, MS
    • 299. Rockford, IL
    • 300. Hampton, VA
  • Property-Crime Rate

    Lowest
    • 1. Port St. Lucie, FL
    • 2. Sterling Heights, MI
    • 3. Mission Viejo, CA
    • 4. Santa Clarita, CA
    • 5. Allen, TX
    Property-Crime Rate
    Highest
    • 294. Miami Beach, FL
    • 295. St. Louis, MO
    • 296. Birmingham, AL
    • T-297. Springfield, MO
    • T-297. Salt Lake City, UT
  • Total Home-Energy Cost

    Lowest
    • 1. Baton Rouge, LA
    • 2. Westminster, CO
    • 3. New Orleans, LA
    • T-4. Aurora, CO
    • T-4. Lakewood, CO
    Total Home-Energy Cost
    Highest
    • T-239. Bridgeport, CT
    • T-239. Stamford, CT
    • T-241. Modesto, CA
    • T-241. Honolulu, HI
    • T-241. Stockton, CA
    • T-241. Bakersfield, CA
  • Ranking by City Size

    An interesting stat here. Even with our home prices, Florida ranks tops in large, medium, and small cities. Breaking it down into city size, you see a lot of Florida in here.

    Rank (1=Best)  Large Cities (Score) Rank (1=Best)  Midsize Cities (Score) Rank (1=Best)  Small Cities (Score)
    1 Tampa, FL
    (64.44)
    1 Cape Coral, FL
    (65.07)
    1 Palm Bay, FL
    (66.55)
    2 Orlando, FL
    (63.08)
    2 Port St. Lucie, FL
    (63.36)
    2 Surprise, AZ
    (62.53)
    3 Henderson, NV
    (60.61)
    3 Gilbert, AZ
    (62.08)
    3 Lakeland, FL
    (60.19)
    4 Virginia Beach, VA
    (59.68)
    4 Boise, ID
    (61.70)
    4 Thornton, CO
    (59.75)
    5 Las Vegas, NV
    (59.23)
    5 Chesapeake, VA
    (61.03)
    5 Sunrise, FL
    (59.74)

    To see the full study + expanded tables, check out WalletHub.

  • Methodology

    To determine the most favorable housing markets for first-time home buyers, WalletHub compared a sample of 300 U.S. cities (varying in size) across three key dimensions: 1) Affordability, 2) Real-Estate Market and 3) Quality of Life.

    We evaluated those dimensions using 22 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for first-time home buyers. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available at the state level only.

    Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area. Each city was categorized according to the following population-size guidelines:

    • Large cities: More than 300,000 people
    • Midsize cities: 150,000 to 300,000 people
    • Small cities: Fewer than 150,000 people

    Affordability – Total Points: 33.33

    • Housing Affordability: Triple Weight (~14.28 Points)
      Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Median House Price / Median Annual Household Income.
    • Average Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance*: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
    • Cost of Living: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
    • Cost per Square Foot: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
      Note: This metric measures specifically the median list price per average home square footage.
    • Real-Estate Tax Rate: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)

    Real-Estate Market – Total Points: 33.33

    • Rent-to-Price-Ratio: Double Weight (~5.56 Points)
    • Median Days on the Market: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)
    • Active Listings per Capita: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)
    • Median Home-Price Appreciation: Double Weight (~5.56 Points)
    • Foreclosure Rate: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)
    • Share of Housing Units Built between 2010 and 2021: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)
    • Building-Permit Activity: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)
      Note: This metric measures the number of unit permits pulled per 1,000 residents.
    • Mortgage Lenders per Capita: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)
    • Real Estate Agents per Capita: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)
    • Homeownership Rate for Millennials: Full Weight (~2.78 Points)

    Quality of Life – Total Points: 33.33

    • Weather: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
      Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Cities with the Best & Worst Weather” ranking.
    • Quality of School System*: Double Weight (~8.33 Points)
      Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “States with the Best & Worst School Systems” ranking.
    • Driver-Friendliness: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
      Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Cities to Drive in” ranking.
    • Job Market: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
      Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Cities for Jobs” ranking.
    • Total Home-Energy Cost: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
    • Violent-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
    • Property-Crime Rate: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)

    Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Insurance Information Institute, The National Association of Realtors, ATTOM, a property data provider, and WalletHub research.

  • Tampa ranks tops for large cities

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