The Top 10 Cities Where Millennials Are Buying Homes

January 17, 2020
Millennials Walking
group of millennials having fun walking in the city in the morning. By G. Lombardo - Adobe Stock

The housing industry has its eyes on Millennials. As they increasingly start getting hitched and having children, Millennials will be the next big homebuyer demographic. But their national homeownership rate is still staggeringly low at 33.7 percent compared to the national 64 percent. So for builders, the big question is where are they buying homes and what sets those locations apart? SmartAsset ranked the top 48 cities based on the rate of Millennial homeownership and the 10-year change in under-35 homeownership rate. To find Millennial homeowners, you will have the best luck looking South or West: The only state not in those regions to break the top ten cities where Millennials are buying was Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

Census Bureau data from 2018 shows that millennials have a homeownership rate of 33.7%, well below the national average of almost 64%. Though the national rate of millennial homeownership is low, some cities have much higher rates of millennial homeownership that come closer to the national average.

In this study, we looked at where millennials are buying homes by considering both where millennial homeownership rates are currently high as well as where homeownership rates for residents younger than 35 have been increasing in recent years. Specifically, we compared data from 200 of the largest cities in the U.S. according to two metrics: the current rate of millennial homeownership and the 10-year change in under-35 homeownership rate. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

This is SmartAsset’s fifth annual study on where millennials are buying homes. Read last year’s version here.

Key Findings

  • Millennial homeownership rates are higher in the West. Seven of the top 10 cities in our study are in the West, with two in Arizona, four in California and one in Alaska. All seven cities have millennial homeownership rates that rank in the top 20% of cities in our study.
  • Under-35 homeownership rates are declining. Over the past 10 years, the national homeownership rate for people between the ages of 18 and 34 has fallen by roughly 3% from about 36.5% in 2009 to about 33.7% in 2018. In fact, the under-35 homeownership rate has declined in 152 of the total 200 cities in our study over that period.

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