Where Are Millennials Buying Homes?

Millennial couple walking through their new neighborhood as homeowners
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Porch.

Millennials have a notoriously low homeownership rate, which despite inching upward in recent years is far lower than the rates of previous generations at the same age.

The Urban Institute finds that a variety of factors contribute to depressed homeownership among young adults, including a propensity to delay marriage, increased student loan debt, lack of affordable housing and geographic preferences.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the national homeownership rate is 63.9%. For millennials, the homeownership rate stands at just 39.5%.

Recent evidence shows that millennials are fleeing large, more expensive cities for more affordable, smaller locales. While millennials helped boost urban growth after the Great Recession, in recent years, the population of older millennials and younger Gen Xers has declined in these cities.

The COVID-19 pandemic may continue to fuel this trend, as dense city living becomes less attractive. Additionally, the economic and financial uncertainty that many Americans now face will make buying a home in pricey, large cities less feasible.

To find the metropolitan areas where millennials are buying homes, researchers at Porch, a marketplace for home services, analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Zillow. The Pew Research Center’s definition of millennials is people born from 1981 to 1996; therefore, people ages 22-37 were used in the analysis of the Census data.

The researchers ranked metro areas according to the homeownership rate among millennials. In the event of a tie, the metro with the larger number of millennial homeowners was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the median home price, the typical monthly mortgage payment, median earnings for full-time millennial workers and the cost of living.

Here are the large metro areas (with populations above 1 million) with the highest rate of homeownership among millennials.

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