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Roanoke came out tops across Virginia in a new ranking of U.S. cities for first-time home-buyers, while another eight communities across the commonwealth placed in the top half of the survey.

Wallethub looked at 300 cities of varying sizes across the nation, basing its results on 27 metrics across three broad areas: affordability, health of the local real-estate market and quality of life.

Roanoke finished 15th nationally, the only city in Virginia to crack the top 20. The full ranking can be found at https://bit.ly/29FaPoO.

Nationally, Tampa ranked first for first-time buyers, followed by Overland Park, Kan.; Thornton, Colo.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Boise, Idaho.

(On the flip side of the coin were the five lowest-ranked cities, including four in California – San Mateo, Oakland, Santa Barbara and Berkeley – that were held back by affordability. Detroit also was in the bottom five.)

Also placing on the ranking from Virginia were, in descending order: Chesapeake (22nd), Hampton (45th), Newport News (62nd), Richmond (63rd), Virginia Beach (74th), Portsmouth (75th), Norfolk (110th) and Alexandria (121st, with its 11th-in-the-nation quality of life offset by affordability issues). The District of Columbia, which ranked low in affordability and quality of life, ranked 271st.

According to the survey, the Ohio city of Akron offers the most affordable housing among cities surveyed, with the median house price only 1.83 times the median annual household income. By contrast, in the California city of Berkeley, the median house value is 15.04 times the median annual household income.

Fort Collins, Colo., was the city judged to have the best quality of life among all localities in the survey, helping it to an overall finish of 35th. Interestingly, the top eight communities in terms of quality of life all were in Colorado.

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