Millennial Meccas

The review from Arch Mortgage Insurance is designed to give Millennial buyers insight into specific market conditions, identifies the 25 markets with the best job opportunities and affordable homes out of the 100 largest U.S. metros

By Kate Carsella, Associate Editor | November 29, 2018
Mural of Woody Guthrie
Photo: Unsplash/Katie Moum

The Texas Fort Worth-Arlington metro area is one of the best places Millennials can call home, scoring highest overall for housing affordability and robust job growth, according to a recent report.

The Fall 2018 Housing and Mortgage Market Review from Arch Mortgage Insurance, designed to give Millennial buyers insight into specific market conditions, identifies the 25 markets with the best job opportunities and affordable homes out of the 100 largest U.S. metros. The ranking is based on markets’ annual job growth, home price growth, and current and historical median debt-to-income ratios.

Coming out on top, Fort Worth-Arlington experienced 2.7 percent annual job growth, which is 1.1 percent more than the national average, along with a 9.8 percent appreciation in home prices, surpassing national annual growth by 3.2 percent. The Jacksonville, Fla., metro ranked second overall with 3 percent job growth year over year and 9.7 percent home price appreciation.

Following those two markets, Oklahoma City, Okla., ranked third and the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C., and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich., metros rounded out the top five.

The report’s authors anticipate continued home price growth, due to the 2 million-unit national shortfall in residential construction activity.

It also forecast continued growth in monthly housing costs, which increased 15 percent this year compared with 2017—another reason Millennials should consider buying a home sooner than later.

However, the chance of a housing crash similar to the one a decade ago is “quite small,” according to Arch Mortgage, due to tighter credit and continued, albeit slower, home price appreciation compared with the mid-2000s.

Also of interest: the report found that the traditional 20 percent down payment isn’t necessary to buy a home; the median down payment for first-time Millennial buyers is just 7 percent.

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