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The barriers to homeownership begin with a lack of affordability, mostly stemming from the dearth of starter level houses. Because of this, the rate of first-time homebuyers lags repeat purchasers.

However, some markets offer more opportunity for median-income consumers to purchase a property in their price range.

"While expensive markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston are attractive destinations for many reasons, there are attractive alternatives for millennial first-time homebuyers," Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American, said in the report. "Smaller cities such as Oklahoma City, Louisville, Ky., or Memphis, Tenn., are 'affordability friendly' because the median renter's house-buying power in these cities allows first-time home buyers to consider a much larger selection of homes to buy."

From Middle American to the Midwestern plains, here's a look at the 12 cities where first-time homebuyers can afford the largest share of houses for sale, according to First American Financial Corp.

For the report, First American examined the buying power of first-time homebuyers in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country. The analysis is based on median renter income versus the income needed to purchase a median priced home, accounting for 30-year fixed mortgage rates, property taxes, mortgage insurance and a 5% down payment.
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No. 12 Cincinnati, Ohio
Share of affordable homes: 65%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $171,916
3Q 2019 median household income: $35,700
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No. 11 Chicago, Ill.
Share of affordable homes: 65%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $230,666
3Q 2019 median household income: $45,903
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No. 10 St. Louis, Mo.
Share of affordable homes: 66%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $175,000
3Q 2019 median household income: $36,721
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No. 9 Indianapolis, Ind.
Share of affordable homes: 68%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $195,111
3Q 2019 median household income: $40,025
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No. 8 Atlanta, Ga.
Share of affordable homes: 68%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $221,816
3Q 2019 median household income: $46,920
Tampa, Fla.
No. 7 Tampa, Fla.
Share of affordable homes: 69%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $207,333
3Q 2019 median household income: $43,679
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No. 6 Pittsburgh, Pa.
Share of affordable homes: 70%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $157,750
3Q 2019 median household income: $37,126
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No. 5 Kansas City, Mo.
Share of affordable homes: 71%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $220,172
3Q 2019 median household income: $47,153
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No. 4 Birmingham, Ala.
Share of affordable homes: 71%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $161,816
3Q 2019 median household income: $38,760
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No. 3 Memphis, Tenn.
Share of affordable homes: 72%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $158,537
3Q 2019 median household income: $37,873
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No. 2 Louisville, Ky.
Share of affordable homes: 73%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $182,050
3Q 2019 median household income: $42,840
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No. 1 Oklahoma City, Okla.
Share of affordable homes: 74%
3Q 2019 median sale price: $160,000
3Q 2019 median household income: $37,074