It’s not news that Millennials have plenty of financial challenges. Between hefty student loans and escalating rental costs, it can be difficult to live and work in expensive metro areas.
Yet, according to new research by the National Association of Realtors, there are parts of the country that are favorable markets for Millennials to become homeowners.
NAR has ranked Washington, D.C. (VA, MD, WV) among the top 10 metro area markets for Millennial buyers. Other cities include: Austin, Texas, Charleston, S.C., Denver, Minneapolis, Ogden, Utah, Portland, Ore., Raleigh, N.C., Salt Lake City, and Seattle.
What do all these areas have in common? Steady job growth and lower qualifying incomes needed to buy.
According to NAR, during the early stages of the economic recovery some of the larger metro areas, like New York and parts of California, were understandably attractive to Millennials for their strong job markets, but high costs of living made home buying difficult – for some, even impossible. Now that many more affordable, middle-tier cities have mostly recovered from the recession and experienced robust job growth, we’re seeing this generation begin to move where it makes sense for their wallets. Millennials that moved to these cities have subsequently realized they’re earning enough to purchase their first homes.
A little over a year ago, I dubbed the District as the “Millennial Mecca” and it’s encouraging to see that the statement still rings true. With a healthy business environment and thriving cultural scene, it’s no wonder that Millennials have continued to gravitate to the area.
Data doesn’t lie
Data on the Greater Washington, D.C. metro real estate market shows a strong spring season. The District proved to be the top performer in the metro area showing a 15.4 percent increase in dollar volume of sales over May 2015.
Per NAR’s research, Washington D.C., was among the top three metro areas with the highest share of Millennial movers (28 percent), which could be attributed to home prices remaining relatively stagnant. Also helpful for the District were higher salaries, as D.C. was ranked sixth for highest median household income of Millennial movers in 2014.
The District’s popularity among Millennials proves to be an exciting time for homebuyers, sellers and also for real estate professionals such as myself. As we look forward, especially in this election year, it’s important to continue to help the next generation invest and prosper.
Donna Evers is the owner and broker of Evers & Co. Real Estate, the largest woman-owned and -run real estate firm in the Washington metro area, and the proprietor of Twin Oaks Tavern Winery in Bluemont, Va. She is a regular contributor to the Washington Blade and frequently appears on TV and radio as an expert on the D.C. real estate market. Reach her at email@example.com or follow her team @EversCo.