Contrary to popular opinion, millennials are buying homes. According to a study conducted by the team at LendingTree, an online loan marketplace, nearly one-fourth of all mortgage purchase requests made on their website between January and November of 2018 came consumers under the age of 35. And three American cities managed to rake in millennial buyers—making up almost one half of total new purchase requests.
In the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Salt Lake City, Utah, had the highest percentage of millennials making mortgage purchase requests, coming in at 51 percent, with an average requested loan amount of $234,391. Utah has recently found itself as a millennial buying mecca—another recent LendingTree study found that state is home to the youngest homeowners, on average, and also one of the easiest places to live while paying off a student loan.
Other areas where millennials are buying in droves? Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, both having 48 percent of requests coming from people under the age of 35.
For the report, the people at LendingTree analyzed mortgage requests and offers for borrowers ages 35 years and under between January 1 and November 25, 2018, as well as the number of total mortgage requests in cities and the surrounding metro areas.
The cities with the lowest percentage of millennials seeking homes? Tampa, Florida, came in dead last, with only 30 percent of purchase requests coming from people under 35. That's followed by Las Vegas, Nevada, at 31 percent, and then Miami, Florida, at 32 percent. Rounding out the 5 bottom slots are Orlando, Florida, and San Diego, California.
The report also determined that millennials who had the chance to buy had to wait the longest to buy homes in San Francisco and San Jose, California, and New York, New York. Millennial buyers in these exorbitantly priced cities had an average age of 29.6 years old at the time of purchase request—a whole year older than the U.S. average age of 28.7 years old. If that seems off to you, don't worry, it's just the average age of those buying under 35. The median age of homebuyers in the U.S. is actually 32, according to the National Association of Realtors, and the average age of all homeowners is 54.
According to LendingTree, the biggest challenges for millennial homebuyers are saving enough money for a down payment and having a good credit history. They suggest learning ways to improve your credit score, and creating a savings plan to raise your down payment. Also, since inventory seems to be low while prices constantly increase, consider programs that can help you become a homeowner sooner, like FHA loans.
Interested in reading more? View the whole report on LendingTree. More great millennial home buying reads: