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The top 10 cities for millennials to buy a home during a pandemic

By HOM Editor
July 2020
Like everyone else, millennials were stuck at home during the COVID-19 quarantine. Many of them faced financial belt-tightening after having wages reduced, being furloughed, or outright being laid off from their job.

Some collected unemployment. Others were able to get eviction protection if they couldn’t afford their rent. Many breathed a temporary sigh of relief when they got their $1,200 stimulus checks from the federal government.

But in some metropolitan markets, the pandemic hasn’t left as much damage in its wake as it has in others. Now, as the country slowly reopens, millennials in certain areas are finding there is untapped opportunity to buy a home at an affordable rate. According to a study by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), released in June as part of National Homeownership Month, a top 10 list of metro markets were identified based on affordability, the condition of the local job markets during the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of millennials in the market as well as the housing inventory available in each market.

“Record-low mortgage rates have improved housing affordability, bringing more buyers into the market, and multiple offers for starter homes could become common in these metro areas,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “With relatively better employment conditions and a strong presence of millennials in these markets, more new home construction will be required to fully satisfy the housing demand as the economy reopens.”

NAR analyzed the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas across the country and ranked each market on the criteria identified above.

The top 10 markets included three in Texas (Austin-Round Rock, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, and Houston-The Woodlands), as well as Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa; Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh, N. C.; Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.; Salt Lake City, Utah and two markets that encompass cities in neighboring states (Omaha, Neb./Council Bluffs, Iowa and Portland, Ore./Vancouver, Wash.)

“Nationally, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers and these metropolitan areas, in particular, offer great opportunities to realize the dream of homeownership,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “As states and cities begin to reopen, millennials will play a significant role in the housing market’s recovery.”

The methodology for this study was to identify five key areas that would be strong indicators of a greater opportunity for millennials to buy homes during the pandemic.

Researchers wanted to identify:

  • Areas with improving affordability

  • Those with available inventory

  • A solid presence of millennials

  • A lower share of workers employed in the industries most affected by the lockdown

  • Markets with fewer job losses that resulted from the pandemic

 

To view the market reports referenced in this study, please click the “Top Cities” tab at the top of the story.

To view the market reports referenced in the “Top 10 Cities for Millennials during the Pandemic” study, click the buttons below:

ARIZONA: PHOENIX
INDIANA: INDIANAPOLIS
IOWA: DES MOINES
NEBRASKA: OMAHA
NORTH CAROLINA: DURHAM
OREGON: PORTLAND
TEXAS: AUSTIN
TEXAS: DALLAS
TEXAS: HOUSTON
UTAH: SALT LAKE CITY


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