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Millennial Homebuyers in Motion

Madison, Wisconsin, had the highest percentage of millennial as a share of its population in 2017, according to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  [1]

The report stated that millennial made up 32% of Madison’s population in 2017, and the share of millennial moving to the area, when compared to non-millennial, was 75%.

Salt Lake City, Utah, had the second-most millennials at 31%, with Seattle, Oklahoma City, Denver, and Durham, North Carolina, all reported a millennial population share of 29%. Other cities highly attractive to millennials were El Paso, Texas (27%); Omaha, Nebraska (28%); Bakersfield, California (28%); and Grand Rapids, Michigan (27%).

The average millennial population share in the 100 largest metros was 25%, according to the NAR.

Millennials in Seattle reportedly had the highest average income, between $68,900 and $79,400, but could only afford to buy 14% of the homes in Seattle as of March 2019. Oklahoma City is the most affordable city for millennials, as they are able to afford 60% of the homes available on the market.

“An overwhelming majority of younger and older millennial homebuyers responded that their strong desire to own a home was the primary reason that they purchased their home," Yun said. "As long as supply keeps up to meet demand, and prevents costs from rising too high and too rapidly, these identified metro areas are likely to see an uptick in purchases from millennial homebuyers—including Oklahoma City.”

Lawrence Yun, NAR's Chief Economist, said that Madison has many attributes that appeal to millennials [2], including earning potential. As of 2017, the median income for millennials there was $62,000, and $68,500 for millennials who had recently moved to the city.

"In comparison to other areas, Madison offers one of the highest wages for millennials," Yun said. "Moreover, this income level combined with robust employment opportunities and affordability, make Madison among one of the most appealing locations for millennials who are looking to stay longer and raise families.”

Data released earlier this year [3] by Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker found that purchase loans accounted for 87% of loans made to millennials in February, which is an increase from 85% in January.