An “overwhelming majority” of renters under age 35 hope to be homeowners one day, according to studies by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Why are they waiting longer than previous generations to buy? There are several reasons, but a few that have contributed to the statistics include slower national wage gains, higher real estate prices and student loan debt.
Many millennials, now in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties, have sought out alternatives to larger, busier cities like New York and Los Angeles. High costs of living and rising rents make these iconic urban areas even less appealing for those looking for more stability.
Ideal markets for first-time home buyers can offer steady job growth, lower qualifying incomes and moderate home values. Check out our top three picks below, and try out the Millennial City tool to find the perfect place to buy your new home:
Ogden, UT
A short distance from Salt Lake City, Ogden (population 86,701) claims the highest millennial homeownership rate in the country at a whopping 40%. The average home value is $191,500, which, combined with a relatively high median income, translates to a very affordable market. With job growth tripling the national average, Ogden was ranked 6th in Forbes’ “Best Places to Raise a Family in 2010” and 16th in “Best Places for Business & Careers” in 2013.
Lancaster, PA
Within commuting distance of Philadelphia and New York, Lancaster has a population of 59,218 and a thriving local business economy driven by a major healthcare center and a regional bank headquarters. Farmers markets, galleries and retail abound, offering a taste of urban culture with a rural backdrop. The median home value in Lancaster is $126,900 and the city has plans to add more housing units as part of a larger residential development plan.
Austin, TX
Boasting a mid-size population of 947,890 people, Austin is uniquely equipped to attract millennial home buyers. A popular location for start-up businesses and music festivals, the city has tons to offer in terms of entertainment and year-over-year employment growth. You may (or may not) be surprised to know that 18% of Austin residents are millennials, and their median household income is greater than the national average. According to Zillow, home values have increased by 7.7% in the last year, so millennial homeowners are likely to see a return on their housing investments.
Already found a home in the city of your dreams? Contact us at 888-602-6626 to get started on your loan application today.

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