Often, when the best states for millennials to settle down or the best cities to buy brand new homes are covered in the news, under-the-radar metro areas with attainable housing markets—think Silver Spring, Maryland, or Cleveland, Ohio—consistently fall at the top of the list. For the big-city dwellers among us, this news is decidedly disappointing. But what if we told you that you didn’t have to move across the country or sacrifice your Seamless account in order to fulfill your lifelong dream of becoming a homeowner?
A recent housing market report from Zillow offering new insight into the best big cities for home buyers reveals that shoppers in the Big Apple might not have it so bad. The study, which is based on the company’s Buyer-Seller Index and takes into account factors like median days on the market and percentage of listings with price cuts, found that of the 10 metro areas with the best conditions for homeowners, New York City finally came out on top.
“It’s not that New York is all that affordable: Its median home value in January was $438,300, almost double the US median of $225,300,” explains Zillow reporter, Luca Silvan Becker. But buyers who can afford to call a large city home—be it Los Angeles, Chicago, or Houston—will likely find the most success in New York.
“For example, among the largest 35 metros, [homes in New York have] the longest number of days on the market, at 132 days,” Becker continues. Chicago comes in second with 102 days, followed closely by Miami where for-sale properties tend to last 99 days. Other large Florida cities like Tampa (a haven for first-time home buyers) and Orlando made the top 10 thanks to the high percentage of listings with price cuts.
Here’s a closer peek at the best five cities for home buyers (and what to expect once the moving van drives away).
#1. New York, New York
Median home value: $438,300
Percentage of listings with price cuts: 14.6%
We might be biased, but we think New York deserves the number one spot for more than the fact that house hunting is easier than in, say, Pittsburgh. After all, it’s the one place where adrenaline junkies, pizza aficionados, and—of course—design lovers peacefully coexist. Between the globally inspired homes that await in Brooklyn, cozy day trips upstate, and down-right rad laundromats, there’s something for every resident to love. And once you finally do snag the perfect apartment or townhouse, who knows, you might find yourself living next door to Blake Lively and Jennifer Lawrence.
#2. Miami, Florida
Median home value: $283,800
Percentage of listings with price cuts: 16.7%
Aside from the white-sand beaches, Cuban cuisine, and Art Deco architecture, Miami’s decadent brunch spots are worth the move alone. Sure, your home might not come close to Gianni Versace’s iconic mansion, but at least the permanent vacation that is living in Miami is a good excuse to decorate with more color.
#3. Baltimore, Maryland
Median home value: $267,900
Percentage of listings with price cuts: 19.2%
Maryland’s biggest city is about so much more than just crabs. With a fantastic cultural scene and no shortage of cool shops (think historic estates that have been turned into hotels and quirky comic book stores), Baltimore is as a coastal paradise for both seafood snobs and scholars at heart.
#4. Chicago, Illinois
Median home value: $224,800
Percentage of listings with price cuts: 18.2%
When we envision a move to the Windy City, it looks something like this chic downtown triplex. Don’t let the weather get you down. When you’re not cuddled up at home, you can seek solace by a fireplace at one of the city’s many chic cocktail bars. Chicago’s outdoor summer festivals will make up for the weather woes you endured during the winter.
#5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Median home value: $232,700
Percentage of listings with price cuts: 17.9%
On the brink of transformation, some say that Philadelphia is the new New York. With farm-to-table cuisine continuing to lead the restaurant scene and design-centric hotels and Airbnbs popping up across the city, Philly is grasping on to a vibrant future while staying true to its historic roots.
See more stories like this: