BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - Berkeley has been ranked as the worst medium-sized city in the United States for first-time home buyers, according to financial website, WalletHub.
We talked to some Berkeley real-estate agents and also went to the Bay Area's "best city" for first-time home buyers.
One three-bedroom home in Berkeley is listed at $798,000, but agents say that could easily become inflated by six figures or more in bidding wars. For reference, this was one of the least expensive listings in town.
The WalletHub rankings put Berkeley at the bottom on a list of 300 U.S. medium-sized cities.
"It's a challenging place to buy as a first-time buyer," said realtor Leslie Easterday. "I work with professors. Prices are so high in Berkeley they can't afford to buy in Berkeley. I will show them El Cerrito and Richmond."
But Berkeley's culture and restaurants remain a huge draw.
Very few Berkeley homes hit the market as older residents are staying in their homes, because they can't afford to move and that limits supply.
"What's been happening is things are priced in the eights and selling at 1.2, 1.3 million dollars. So right away there is this shock," Easterday said.
Other large Bay Area cities like Oakland and San Francisco ranked in the top four worst in WalletHub's list.
But first time home buyers don't have to be completely discouraged. They can look in Concord which ranked best in the Bay Area for first timers.
We saw a two-story house in Concord that is about to go on the market for under $400,000.
"You can still find homes in the high 400s to mid 500s for a single-family home," said Alex Khodadad, a real estate agent.
He confirms the common perceptions that the farther out you go from the big hubs, the cheaper the housing. But there is another factor.
"There are certain areas where the schools are good. And there are areas where the schools are not as good. That has held Concord back," Khodadad said.
Still in the Bay Area, it is mostly a seller's market. The study found the best place in the U.S. to find a starter home is in Tampa, Florida.