10 Cities to Buy A Home

Published On: September 15, 2011

Zillow looked at four factors to determine the top 10.

Affordability: How many years of income does the median home cost? If the median home costs 2.5 years of salary that area gets a better rank than a city where a home costs 4.5 years of salary.

Unemployment: Zillow looked at areas with low unemployment, using that as a gauge of the health and stability of the local economy. Zillow also looked at the change in unemployment over the past year. This is used as a proxy for the "direction" that a local economy is moving. A city where the unemployment rate dropped 2 percent in the past year will rank better than a city that's had no change.

Foreclosures: Zillow also analyzed the percentage of homes in each marketplace that have fallen into foreclosure in the past 12 months. Of course, lower is better because it suggests that the local real estate market is healthier

Price Increases: Zillow looked at areas that have seen an increase in home values over the past quarter and the past year.

Here are the Top 10 Best Places to Buy in 2011 after analyzing those four factors:

1. Utica, N.Y.
2. Oklahoma City, Okla.
3. Rochester, N.Y.
4. Pittsburgh, Pa.
5. Tulsa, Okla.
6. Albany, N.Y.
7. Lancaster, Pa.
8. Madison, Wis.
9. Green Bay, Wis.
10. Lincoln, Neb.