by Dana George | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 24, 2021
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As millennials move out of their 20s, they're looking to settle down.
If you want to know who to thank for the red-hot housing market, look no further than your nearest millennial. This group, ages 25 to 40, made up 37% of all home sales in 2020.
Want to know where they're heading? Here, we take a look at the top five cities where millennials are taking up residence, according to data from ICE Mortgage Technology.
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If you're a fan of the Coen brothers Fargo, you have an idea of how icy it can get in North Dakota. Despite this, millennials have been flocking to this city near Montana and the Canadian border for several years. In addition to average salaries of around $80,000, Williston offers millennials outdoor activities, plenty of opportunity for social interaction, a diverse choice of eating establishments, and reasonable housing prices. According to Realtor.com, the median price of a home in Williston is $290,000. While it's impossible to know what long-time residents think about the influx of new blood, home values in the city have gone up 324% in the past 20 years.
Another place drawing millennial homebuyers is Eagle Pass, Texas, the first American settlement on the Rio Grande. It's recent popularity could be due to the median home price, which is a reasonable $168,300. Or perhaps it's because property values have gone up by 74% over the past two decades. While high-paying jobs do not appear to be the lure for most millennials moving to Eagle Pass, the cost of living is low enough to make it possible to live a middle-class life, whether you're working from home or at a local business.
Millennials are likely enchanted by all Hobbs, New Mexico, has to offer. Besides a low cost of living, Hobbs can brag about an average commute time of 18 minutes, a low student-to-teacher ratio, employment opportunities, and a low crime rate. Plus, the median price for a home in Hobbs is $195,000, meaning that young couples starting a family can afford to put down roots. Given that homes in Hobbs have appreciated by 168% since 2000, it is also possible for a young family to build home equity with little effort.
Another hotspot for millennial home buyers is Midland, Texas, which was built primarily on the oil industry's success. Here, there appear to be several draws for millennials, including good-paying jobs, community engagement, unique shops and restaurants, and plenty of cultural activities. While public schools are not highly rated in Midland, Niche.com ranks several of their private schools relatively high. The median price of a home in this West Texas town is $287,000, and residents have enjoyed seeing their homes appreciate in value approximately 240% over the past 20 years.
The third of the five Texas towns on this list is Big Spring. Long known as the "crossroads of West Texas," Big Spring is nestled between Lubbock to the north, San Angelo to the south, Midland to the west, and Abilene to the east. The area was hit hard by the decline of oil revenues and has suffered through a period of high unemployment. But with the influx of millennials, Big Spring is enjoying a rebirth of sorts. Millennials appear to be drawn to Big Spring for its low home prices (median price of $164,000), friendly people, small-town charm, and a slower pace of life. Given how quickly locals can get to one of the surrounding cities, it's ideal for families looking for balance. Also, despite the ups and downs of the oil industry, property values have risen 152% in 20 years. This helps make Big Spring an excellent place to build home equity.
There are a lot of benefits to millennials taking up roots in any of these cities. As young home buyers move into an area and take out new mortgages, good things happen. The tax base broadens, parks and schools get built, shops and restaurants are revitalized, and towns come to life. Whatever their reason for moving to a particular area, millennials are good for business.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
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