In the popular imagination, Millennials live in big city apartments or occupy their parents’ basements rent-free.
But in fact, members of the Millennial cohort—that generation of young adults born roughly between 1980 and 1998—bought more homes last year than people in any other age bracket.
And where exactly are Millennials buying homes? You just might be surprised when you hear where Millennial homebuyers and soon-to-be homebuyers are choosing to put down roots.
More Millennials Are Buying in Small Towns Than in Big Cities…
According to the National Association of Realtors’ Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, a full 31% of Millennial homebuyers bought properties in small towns or rural communities last year.
In contrast, only 15% of Millennial homebuyers bought homes in city centers. Turns out, young homeowners are much more likely to live in single-family detached homes with lawns than in urban lofts with noisy upstairs neighbors.
Small towns and rural areas have a lot of appeal. Contrary to popular conception, less traffic, tight-knit communities, slower-paced living, and small-town values appeal to Millennials, just as they have appealed to previous generations. Plus, houses in small town and rural areas are often much, much more affordable than homes in big cities.
…But Most Millennial Homebuyers Are Buying Homes in the Suburbs
Few Americans live in bustling urban centers. Even fewer live in bucolic rural areas. The fact is, most Americans live in those places and communities in between. And Millennials are no exception.
Last year, 52% of the homes purchased by Millennial homebuyers were in suburban areas. Close enough to the city to visit (or commute for work). Far enough from the city to have a little breathing room. The suburbs continue to attract Millennial homebuyers.
According to the NAR, 48% of Millennial homebuyers have children. Having children has been a major incentive for homebuyers for decades. So it’s not surprising that Millennials with children are buying homes in child-friendly suburban areas. Well-funded suburban schools are a pretty significant draw for Millennial homebuyers, too.
One-Third of Millennial Homebuyers Last Year Have Done This Before
The majority of homebuyers in their twenties and thirties are first-time homebuyers. Last year, 65% of homebuyers under 37 years old were purchasing their very first home. Buying a home isn’t exactly inexpensive. It can take awhile to put together the cash reserves necessary to buy a home. (Though there is some good news, would-be homeowners with student loans. 46% of Millennial homebuyers last year still had at least some student loan debt.)
Now, if 65% of Millennial homebuyers last year were buying their first home, that means about a third of the Millennials who bought homes last year have purchased a home before. Just because a homebuyer is young doesn’t mean it’s their first rodeo. (That said, if it is your first rodeo, there’s no need to worry. Getting a mortgage with Morty is quick, easy, and painless. Get started right now, and you could be pre-approved for a mortgage in a matter of minutes.)