The 10 "Hidden-Gem" Towns First-Time Home Buyers Will Love in 2024

Row of colorful, red, yellow, blue, white, green painted residential townhouses, homes, houses with brick patio gardens in summer
Credit: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock Credit: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock

The real estate market has been wild for the past several years due to *gestures broadly*, well, everything. It’s not easy for buyers looking to snag their dream home at anything resembling a reasonable price point, which is why is here with a glimmer of hope for those on the hunt for a new house in 2024.

They’re unveiling the Best Markets for First-Time Homebuyers in 2024, a stacked list highlighting small to midsize hidden-gem towns that provide the perfect mix of affordability, healthy housing inventory, culture and liveliness, and good company of similar-aged peers, making them the perfect hunting ground for first-time homebuyers.

Taking top honors in the annual report is Irondequoit, New York, a charming suburb of Rochester that boasts the highest expected median sale price growth rate (10.4 percent), according to the findings. The rest of the top 10 includes Benton, Arkansas; Winterset, Iowa; Newington, Connecticut; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Cheektowaga, New York; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Moore, Oklahoma; Mattydale, New York; and Riviera Beach, Maryland.

Buying a first home can be a daunting task. Couple high interest rates with historically low inventory of homes available for sale in 2023 and hopeful buyers have faced a particularly challenging market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for “While affordability will remain an issue in 2024, a recent survey showed that 95 percent of prospective first-time homebuyers overwhelmingly feel that they’ll be able to afford a home within their lifetime, with 40 percent saying they’ll be able to afford it within the next year.”

That optimism paired with a list of 10 worthy zip codes makes for solid odds as a fresh set of buyers begins their search nationwide. And while each of these locales is a great contender, the pros at note that within the top 10 list, Mattydale, New York, offers the most affordable market relative to local incomes for 25 to 34 year olds, as well as the lowest average commute time to work, at 20 minutes. Riviera Beach, Maryland, has the most active listings per household (59.3 per 1,000) across the list, as well as the largest expected pool of young adult homeowners (10.9 percent), seemingly making it an up-and-coming hotspot in the years ahead.

For more info, check out the full report.