The Definitive Guide to Buying Your First Home

The 15 most difficult places to buy a home in the US

New York City skyline
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For wannabe homeowners in real estate markets full of well-qualified buyers, competition is fierce, according to recent data from online loan marketplace LendingTree. Especially out West.

"Of the top 10 most competitive cities, only two, St. Louis and Boston, were not in a western U.S. state. High-paying tech jobs, common in places like Oregon, San Francisco and Seattle, likely help fuel market competitiveness in some western cities," the site reports.

In the most competitive areas, potential homeowners are vying against other buyers who are often pre-approved for mortgages, have excellent credit scores and are able to offer hefty down payments. They not only have to be strong candidates, but they have to beat out other qualified buyers as well.

Here's the full list of the 15 housing markets were competition is the toughest.

15. New York, New York

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 58
Average down payment: 17 percent
Median home price: $829,000

Statue of Liberty and New York City skyline.
Alison Langley | Getty Images
14. San Antonio, Texas

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 55
Average down payment: 14 percent
Median home price: $239,990

jld3 Photography | Flickr | Getty Images
13. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 52
Average down payment: 14 percent
Median home price: $124,900

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Peeterv | Getty Images
12. Phoenix, Arizona

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 48
Average down payment: 15 percent
Median home price: $275,000

Phoenix, Arizona.
Dennis Macdonald | Getty Images
11. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 58
Average down payment: 14 percent
Median home price: $300,000

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Education Images | Getty Images
10. Boston, Massachusetts

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 57
Average down payment: 16 percent
Median home price: $699,900

Boston, Massachusetts
Sean Pavone | Getty Images
9. Sacramento, California

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 50
Average down payment: 15 percent
Median home price: $312,650

Downtown Sacramento
Provided by jp2pix.com | Getty Images
8. Seattle, Washington

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 65
Average down payment: 19 percent
Median home price: $689,950

Seattle, Washington.
DeAngostini | Getty Images
7. Las Vegas, Nevada

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 52
Average down payment: 14 percent
Median home price: $299,900

Las Vegas, Nevada
George Rose | Getty Images
6. St. Louis, Missouri

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 54
Average down payment: 15 percent
Median home price: $145,000

St. Louis, Missouri
Joe Sohm | Photodisc | Getty Images
5. San Jose, California

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 65
Average down payment: 19 percent
Median home price: $939,000

Business district area of downtown San Jose, California.
Mark Miller Photos | Getty Images
4. San Francisco, California

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 59
Average down payment: 17 percent
Median home price: $1.3 million

San Francisco, California
RudyBalasko | Getty Images
3. Portland, Oregon

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 57
Average down payment: 15 percent
Median home price: $449,900

Portland, Oregon
jose1983 | iStock | Getty Images
2. Los Angeles, California

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 55
Average down payment: 17 percent
Median home price: $799,250

Los Angeles, California.
Getty Images
1. Denver, Colorado

Percent of buyers with good or excellent credit: 56
Average down payment: 16 percent
Median home price: $459,900

Denver, Colorado
Bridget Calip | Getty Images

Interestingly, the most difficult places to buy a home aren't necessarily the most expensive. Although the median home price in Denver, $459,900, according to Zillow, is significantly higher than the national median of $275,000, it's still well below the median in expensive markets like New York and San Francisco.

Other competitive cities are even cheaper: St. Louis, Missouri, with a median home price of $145,000, comes in at No. 6. And Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a median home price of $124,000, earns the No. 10 spot.

That means that, even in a more affordable housing market, it can still be challenging to buy a home.

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