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The Most and Least Popular Cities For Millennial Homebuyers

Millennials are getting older and buying homes. Here’s where they prefer to live.


From  Debt.com

There isn’t enough avocado toast in the world to keep millennials from becoming adults. And like generations before, adulthood typically means starting a career, a family, and guess what? Buying a home.

To find out where this generation wants to settle down most, Loan market place LendingTree analyzed its own customer data from the 50 largest cities in the U.S. to find where homebuyers under 35 are purchasing most. It parsed mortgage requests from millennial clients in the following categories:

  • Buyer age
  • Percent of mortgage requests
  • Credit score
  • Loan amount
  • Down payment

Salt Lake City, Utah


Rental listing site Rent Jungle has also concluded Salt Lake City, Utah as No. 1 in millennial popularity. More than 15 percent of the city’s population falls between 25 and 34, says Rent Jungle’s study. That’s 3 percent higher than the national average of the millennial population.     

Average buyer age: 28

Share of mortgage request: 51%

Average credit score: 668

Requested loan amount: $234,391

Down payment: $32,859


Minneapolis, Minnesota


This city also made No. 4 on financial service company SmartAsset’s “Top 10 Cities Where Millennials Are Moving" list. In 2016, more than 21,000 millennials moved to the city, according to the study.

Debt.com has previously reported that Minneapolis, Minnesota was the most millennial-friendly city in the U.S. Forty-two percent of millennials own homes in this city, and the average value of them is $222,528.  

Average buyer age: 28.5

Share of mortgage request: 48%

Average credit score: 670

Requested loan amount: $200,930

Down payment: $29,111


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Personal finance site GOBankingRates (GBR) ranked this city as No. 9 out of the top 20 cities for aspiring millennial homeowners. More than 37 percent of millennials own their homes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And the city has the most affordable mortgages out of any other on GBR’s study. The average millennial home value is $152,731.

Average buyer age: 28.4

Share of mortgage request: 48%

Average credit score: 650

Requested loan amount: $128,316

Down payment: $19,162


Buffalo, New York


In 2017, Time Magazine reported that Buffalo, New York was No. 12 out of the 25 cities millennials are moving to. There was an increase of 1,881 millennials in the region from 2010-2015, according to magazine’s reporting.

Average buyer age: 28.4

Share of mortgage request: 46%

Average credit score: 654

Requested loan amount: $126,907

Down payment: $19,206


Denver, Colorado


Denver, Colorado came in at No. 2 out of “The 10 Biggest Millennial Boomtowns in America," in a study from personal finance site MagnifyMoney.

It’s findings show there was an 18.7 percent population change among the millennial generation between 2011 and 2016. That was an increase of more than 95,000 millennials in that timeframe.     

Average buyer age: 28.9

Share of mortgage request: 45%

Average credit score: 680

Requested loan amount: $293,848

Down payment: $47,728


St. Louis, Missouri


Politico released a joint study with nonprofit organization Pew Charitable Trusts with a mission to find “the most millennial city” in the U.S. St. Louis, Missouri came in at No. 25 out of 50 cities. Roughly one-fifth of the population is millennials. And the median age is 35, the oldest millennials.

Average buyer age: 28.5

Share of mortgage request: $137,722

Average credit score: 638

Requested loan amount: $137,722

Down payment: $18,309


Kansas City, Missouri


There are 23,000 people living in the downtown Kansas City area, and 41 percent of them are millennials, says a report from The Kansas City Star. Furthermore, millennials make up 26 percent of Kansas City’s population.

Average buyer age: 28.5

Share of mortgage request: 45%

Average credit score: 640

Requested loan amount: $153,194

Down payment: $20,515


Columbus, Ohio


The median age in the city is 35, according to Census data. Columbus, Ohio makes No. 8 out of the “Top 10 Metros for Millennial Concentration.” It’s not unlikely to see millennials interested in buying homes by that age.

The millennial population in the city increased from 131,641 to 170,759 between 2005 and 2014. And that was last tracked more than five years ago. 

Average buyer age: 28.4

Share of mortgage request: 44%

Average credit score: 644

Requested loan amount: $150,508

Down payment: $21,651


Rochester, New York


This city hasn’t always ranked No. 9 on LendingTree’s research of the most popular cities for millennial homebuyers. The loan marketplace conducted the same study last year and Rochester, New York moved up from No. 16. Therefore, the average buyer’s age has decreased from 29 and the share of mortgage requests has increased by 6.5 percentage points.

Average buyer age: 28.4

Share of mortgage request: 44%

Average credit score: 643

Requested loan amount: $116,321

Down payment: $18,531


Cincinnati, Ohio


It’s the third most-populated city in Ohio, according to World Population Review. The median age in the city is 32 years old and 38 percent of residents are homeowners. In that case, millennials will be in an environment of like-minded individuals.

The typical price of a home is $194,900, according to Zillow. Forty-three percent of mortgage requests in the city are coming from millennials. And they’re for just fewer than $140,000.  

Average buyer age: 28.2

Share of mortgage request: 43%

Average credit score: 637

Requested loan amount: $139,338

Down payment: $18,357


(10.) Atlanta, Georgia


The placement of this city on this list may not have anything to do with employment opportunities. Last year, personal finance site WalletHub reported Atlanta, Georgia to be the third best city to start a career. The city came in at No. 2 on its “professional opportunities rank.”  

Average buyer age: 28.9

Share of mortgage request: 37%

Average credit score: 641

Requested loan amount: $181,503

Down payment: $25,710


(9.) Riverside, California


Riverside, California is also No. 7 of the 20 worst cities for aspiring millennial homeowners, says a study from personal finance site GOBankingRates. Why? Because more than a third of millennial residents are homeowners, but that feat came at a steep price. Home values are 12th highest in that study, at an average of $280,000. Seems like that isn’t exactly affordable for first-time homebuyers.   

Average buyer age: 28.9

Share of mortgage request: 37%

Average credit score: 641

Requested loan amount: $181,503

Down payment: $25,710


(8.) New York, New York


The costs of living in New York city is causing millennials to live above their means, reports CNBC. Its report finds that 45 percent of millennials living in the city say they had to buy more expensive homes than originally planned before moving. Besides that, this study is telling us that those costs of living may be deterring them from wanting to buy homes in New York City.

Average buyer age: 29.4

Share of mortgage request: 37%

Average credit score: 687

Requested loan amount: $313,170

Down payment: $64,301


(7.) Jacksonville, FL


There has been a large influx of the generation to the city. Last September, CNBC reported there was a 45 percent increase in the millennial population between 2011 and 2016. Yet, many aren't applying for mortgage loans.

Average buyer age: 28.7

Share of mortgage request: 36%

Average credit score: 636

Requested loan amount: $168,558

Down payment: $21,907


(6.) Sacramento, California


Sacramento, California made No. 3 out of the 15 most popular cities attracting millennials in a 2018 study from financial technology company SmartAsset. There was an influx of 16,181 millennials to the city in 2016. Meanwhile, 9,501 left Sacramento that year as well.

Average buyer age: 29.1

Share of mortgage request: 35%

Average credit score: 636

Requested loan amount: $168,558

Down payment: $21,907


(5.) San Diego, California


Several years ago, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce told local TV news stations that the city had the highest millennial population out of 10 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

San Diego, California had about 29 percent of the population fitting younger millennials. But could they afford to stay there? In 2018, local TV stations reported the headline “San Diego Ranks Low For Millennial Living.” But then, last November, mortgage research site HSH determined you need to earn more than $132,000 yearly to afford the costs of living in the city.

Average buyer age: 29.2

Share of mortgage request: 35%

Average credit score: 686

Requested loan amount: $378,894

Down payment: $62,937


(4.) Orlando, FL


Last July, the Orlando Sentinel reported the headline “Orlando rents spike as millennials consider homebuying.” Meanwhile, in September it reported “Humble brag: Orlando is a hot spot for millennials.” How can both be true? Well, millennials must have looked elsewhere to buy a home.

Average buyer age: 28.7

Share of mortgage request: 34%

Average credit score: 650

Requested loan amount: $189,911

Down payment: $26,647


(3.) Miami, FL


Miami’s local National Public Radio station WLRN reported last December that “South Florida Millennials Can’t Afford To Buy A House.” The reason being? Almost two-fifths of millennials in the area didn’t have anything saved for a down payment on a home. A study from Apartmentlist.com found it would take half of the respondents more than 20 years to save for one.

Average buyer age: 29.1

Share of mortgage request: 32%

Average credit score: 657

Requested loan amount: $225,536

Down payment: $36,292


(2.) Las Vegas, Nevada


Debt.com has previously reported that the average monthly income in Las Vegas, Nevada is among the highest in the country. And the rents in the city are $150 cheaper than the national average. However, it may not be the most desirable city to buy a home for the millennial generation.

Mortgages in the Vegas suburbs are more than $5,000 more expensive than they are in the city. Looking at the average requested loan amount - $224,736 - price may be at least one reason for its so unpopular among millennial homebuyers.  

Average buyer age: 28.8

Share of mortgage request: 31%

Average credit score: 651

Requested loan amount: $224,736

Down payment: $31,495


(1.) Tampa, FL


Cigar City is among the top five cheapest large cities in the U.S., according to previous Debt.com reporting. You only need to earn $31,000 a year to afford a 5 percent down payment on a home. But costs may not be what’s keeping millennials from choosing to buy a home in Tampa, Florida. The city made No. 20 on this list, with only 30 percent of mortgage requests coming from millennials.

Average buyer age: 28.7

Share of mortgage request: 30%

Average credit score: 644

Requested loan amount: $174,301

Down payment: $23,772

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Finance Magazine: The Most and Least Popular Cities For Millennial Homebuyers
The Most and Least Popular Cities For Millennial Homebuyers
Millennials are getting older and buying homes. Here’s where they prefer to live.
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