RICHMOND, MD — While California is home to some of the most competitive housing markets in the U.S., parts of Virginia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., also rank among the priciest. According to a study released by LendingTree, six California cities rank among the top 10 most competitive housing markets in the country.

LendingTree’s rankings of the 100 most competitive housing markets in the U.S. were based on factors that "truly create a competitive market for homebuyers," the company explained. To compile the rankings, LendingTree looked at factors like how many house hunters are putting more money down, have high credit scores and "start loan shopping before home shopping."

To come up with the rankings, LendingTree said it looked at 1.5 million purchase mortgage loan requests that came through the company’s marketplace in the 100 largest U.S. cities for 2017.

The cities were then ranked based on the following three criteria:

The share of buyers shopping for a mortgage before identifying the house they want Average down payment percentage Percentage of buyers who have prime credit (above 680)

These Virginia and Maryland cities join DC on the list of most competitive housing markets are:

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Washington, DC (20)Baltimore (46)Richmond (60)Virginia Beach (79)

The two California cities that topped the list, San Francisco and San Jose, had the highest average down payment of any region and nearly two-thirds of shoppers had credit scores above 680.

Here are the top 10 most competitive housing markets in the country:

San Francisco, California (1)
San Jose, California (2)
Denver, Colorado (3)
San Diego, California (4)
Ventura, California (5)
Los Angeles, California (6)
Seattle, Washington (7)
Honolulu, Hawaii (8)
Portland, Oregon (9)
Sacramento, California (10)

Here are the least competitive or most accessible housing markets in the U.S.:

Youngstown, Ohio (100)McAllen, Texas (99)Scranton, Pennsylvania (98)El Paso, Texas (97)Dayton, Ohio (96)Augusta, Georgia (95)Birmingham, Alabama (94)Winston-Salem, North Carolina (93)Little Rock, Arkansas (92)Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (91)

Photo of 1234 Rothesay Cir, Richmond, VA 23221 listing courtesy of Realtor.com

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