Most Popular Cities for Millennial Homebuyers

Millennials make up the largest group of homebuyers in the United States, surpassing members of older (and richer) generations like Generation X and baby boomers. And though the COVID-19 pandemic has doubtlessly caused some millennials to put their homebuying plans on hold, many members of this generation are still looking to take advantage of near record-low mortgage rates to buy a house.

But where are millennials looking to buy? To answer this question, LendingTree analyzed mortgage purchase requests made on the LendingTree platform across the nation’s 50 largest metros from Jan. 1 through Dec. 15, 2020.

What LendingTree found was that millennials (defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996) make up a majority of potential homebuyers in most of the country’s largest metros, including San Jose, Calif., Boston and Denver.

Key findings

  • San Jose, Calif., Boston and Denver are the metros where millennials make up the largest share of purchase requests. In San Jose, 61.79% of purchase requests came from millennials. In Boston and Denver, the numbers are 59.09% and 59.07%, respectively.
  • Las Vegas, Tampa, Fla. and Phoenix have the lowest percentages of millennials making purchase requests among the metros. Millennials made just 42.58% of the purchase requests in Las Vegas, 44.54% in Tampa and 46.33% of the purchase requests in Phoenix, indicating these metros may not be that popular with millennials.
  • Millennial homebuyers in San Francisco, San Jose, Calif. and New York City are the oldest in our study. The average age for these three areas was 32.10 years old, about half a year older than the average 31.57 across all 50 of the largest metros in the country. Since these metros are so expensive, millennials likely need to spend more time saving before they’re ready to buy a house.
  • Salt Lake City, Buffalo, N.Y. and Detroit are the metros with the youngest millennial homebuyers. The average age for these three areas was 31.03 years old.
  • San Jose, Calif., San Francisco and New York City are markets where potential millennial homebuyers had the highest average credit scores. The average credit score for these three areas combined was 721. By comparison, the average credit score for millennial homebuyers across the 50 largest metros in the country was 669.
  • Memphis, Tenn., Virginia Beach, Va. and Birmingham, Ala., had the lowest average credit scores. Credit scores in these three areas were approximately 638639 and 640, respectively.

Most popular metros for millennial homebuyers

No. 1: San Jose, Calif.

  • Share of mortgage requests coming from millennials: 61.79%
  • Average millennial age: 32.12
  • Average credit score among millennials: 730
  • Average down payment amount among millennials: $158,040
  • Average requested loan amount among millennials: $704,318

No. 2: Boston

  • Share of mortgage requests coming from millennials: 59.09%
  • Average millennial age: 31.48
  • Average credit score among millennials: 705
  • Average down payment amount among millennials: $78,062
  • Average requested loan amount among millennials: $416,267

No. 3: Denver

  • Share of mortgage requests coming from millennials: 59.07%
  • Average millennial age: 31.25
  • Average credit score among millennials: 691
  • Average down payment amount among millennials: $56,937
  • Average requested loan amount among millennials: $354,433

Least popular metros for millennial homebuyers

No. 1: Las Vegas

  • Share of mortgage requests coming from millennials: 42.58%
  • Average millennial age: 31.82
  • Average credit score among millennials: 659
  • Average down payment amount among millennials: $37,289
  • Average requested loan amount among millennials: $273,496

No. 2: Tampa, Fla.

  • Share of mortgage requests coming from millennials: 44.54%
  • Average millennial age: 31.66
  • Average millennial credit score among millennials: 654
  • Average down payment amount among millennials: $30,298
  • Average requested loan amount among millennials: $218,632

No. 3: Phoenix

  • Share of mortgage requests coming from millennials: 46.33%
  • Average millennial age: 31.40
  • Average credit score among millennials: 659
  • Average down payment amount among millennials: $35,603
  • Average requested loan amount among millennials: $258,161

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