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Santa Monica Ranks Among Worst Cities to Buy First Home

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Jorge Casuso

July 8, 2020 -- Santa Monica is one of the worst cities in the nation for first-time home buyers looking to cash in on mortgage rates that have hit an all-time low, according to a survey by an online financial site.

The beach city ranked 284 among 300 U.S. cities ranked by WalletHub based on "26 key indicators of market attractiveness, affordability and quality of life," the site said.

Neighboring Inglewood and Los Angeles ranked lower than Santa Monica, landing in the 284th and 295th spots respectively.

"To determine the most favorable housing markets for first-time buyers, WalletHub took the pulse of real estate in 300 cities of varying sizes using 26 key metrics," researchers wrote.

The key factors weighed included cost of living, property tax and foreclosure rates, energy costs and property crime rate.

Santa Monica earned a good to average scores for its property tax rate (25th) and total home-energy cost (92).

But it earned among the lowest scores for its property crime rate (276), cost of living (247) and foreclosure rate (219).

Santa Monica ranked 126 among the 135 cities with populations of fewer than 150,000 residents ranked in the study.

Nine of the ten lowest-ranked small cities are in California.

The State also dominated the overall list of worst cities to buy a first home, with 17 of the 25 cities at the bottom of the list.

San Francisco ranked 299 and Berkeley took the bottom spot.

The best cities to buy a first home were Henderson, Nevada; Boise, Idaho; Thornton, Colorado; Chesapeake, Virginia, and Gilbert, Arizona.

First-time home purchases "make up a sizable chunk of the market," according to the study.

In the fourth quarter of of last year, 39 percent of all U.S. single-family home purchases were made by first-time buyers, the researchers note.

"This year, though, Americans may be conflicted on whether it’s a good time to purchase a first home," the study said.

"While many people have been financially hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, mortgage interest rates have also hit record lows."

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