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Millennial buyers looking across state lines for affordable homes

For millennial mortgage seekers in expensive areas, the grass is looking greener on the other side of the state line.

LookingAtMapCoreLogic’s latest insight into millennial-homebuyer behaviors confirms many things about the newly dominant demographic. With a 44 percent share of purchase-mortgage applications, millennials were the largest cohort to finance home purchases in 2018. Their share of the market continues to grow, up 2 percent compared to 2017.

The numbers bear witness to the debunking of old millennial stereotypes, as the cohort continues to forego sprawling, coastal metro areas and flock to affordable areas like Pittsburgh, where 57 percent of mortgage applications last year were from millennials. Provo, Utah (56 percent); Rochester, New York (55 percent); Buffalo, New York (55 percent); and Des Moines, Iowa (54 percent) also had high shares of millennial applicants.

CoreLogic data revealed that millennials are increasingly willing to migrate from state to state to find affordable homes. Millennial applicants from the often-pricey state of New York, for example, applied for mortgages in less-expensive states like neighboring Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2018. California millennials saw Nevada and even Texas as cheaper housing alternatives to their home state.

Millennial buyer shares were lower in warmer states like Florida and Arizona, where snowbirding retirees continue to carve up larger slices of the application volume and drive up prices.


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