This Map Shows Where Millennials Are Buying Houses (And For How Much)

Millennial homeownership rates are essential to understanding the housing market because they facilitate additional home sales for other people.

How does this work? As explains, suppose you make an offer on a house. The current owner is also probably on the market, and he or she likely has a contingent offer on another house. This sets off a chain reaction throughout the economy. Millennial homeownership rates are therefore an easy way to judge the economic vitality of any given area.

That’s why created this new map...


Our viz takes millennial homeownership data from Abodo and maps it by metro area across the country. Abodo adopted the data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which regularly collects a variety of information about the population, including the age of homeowners, the estimated value of their homes, and how long it would take to accumulate a 20% down payment. Our numbers are from 2015. We then overlaid this information across metro areas with bubbles representing the portion of millennial homeowners in each market: the bigger the bubble, the more millennial homeowners there are. We also color-coded each bubble to represent the median value of their homes—dark red circles mean the homes are worth over $500k, and dark blue means under $200k. This gives you a quick snapshot of the overall economy and the housing market.

The first trend you can see on the map is a clustering of red circles on both the West Coast and along the Northeast.

The most expensive city in the country for millennials is San Jose, CA, where the average millennial buys a home worth $737,077. Seattle, WA in the Northwest is also relatively expensive at $342,769. These are population-dense areas with booming tech sectors. At the other end of the spectrum, you can see clusters of blue bubbles across the Midwest in old manufacturing cities like Detroit, MI ($148,404) and Cleveland, OH ($160,251). Memphis, TN is the cheapest place for millennials at $142,795. Southern states like Texas and Florida are also relatively affordable thanks in large part to their suburban sprawl, which Zillow predicts will expand next year.

It’s no surprise that homes are more expensive in California (think Silicon Valley) than the industrial heartland, but consider how homeownership rates change based on affordability. The red bubbles all tend to be smaller than the blue bubbles. This means that as homes get more expensive, millennials become increasingly unable to afford them. It’s not like there’s a surplus of ultra-rich millennials buying up all the houses in California and New York. Millennials are just as sensitive to high prices as everyone else.

Let’s break the map down into a top ten list of the urban areas with the highest rates of millennial homeownership, combined with the average price of their home. A full 42% of the millennials living in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN own their own home, the highest rate in the country.

1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: 42.4% and $222,528

2. St. Louis, MO-IL: 40.2% and $167,791

3. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI: 40.2% and $148,404

4. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN: 38.5% and $158,974

5. Pittsburgh, PA: 37.5% and $152,731

6. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN: 37.4% and $161,856

7. Kansas City, MO-KS: 37.1% and $170,254

8. Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN: 37.0% and $213,090

9. Oklahoma City, OK: 36.7% and $172,485

10. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD: 36.3% and $272,805

Buying a home is often the biggest financial decision anybody makes, and that’s especially true for young people. And there’s a lot to consider when buying your first home, but one thing other than affordability to keep in mind is how many other millennials are in the same situation. If you’re a millennial looking to buy a home, and you want to live next to other young people, you just might have to move to the Midwest.


Cardinal Fang Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:18 Permalink

Millenials don't buy a house. They 'experience' home ownership.

Then they get bummed because they don't know how to do laundry, grocery shop, pay bills, cut grass, paint a room, fix a leaky faucet or running toilet, um, did I forget anything?

Sorry to harsh your mellow.

Ajas RAT005 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 01:25 Permalink

This article ignores heavily that foreign money is flowing in to compete with millennials.Which it is. But none of that money is on loan.In my opinion, the idea of any significant housing downturn is tied hand-in-hand with industry-wide technology crash.  So it depends how fat you think that tail is. 

In reply to by RAT005

Dontblamethegoat jin187 Sat, 12/16/2017 - 15:00 Permalink

Another good thing about moving into a neighborhood/town with people of your age - much easier civil relationships as the needs/requirments of people in an age cohort are more similar than to those of other age cohorts.  So the local politicians don't have to deal with the hassles of outlyer groups demanding services most people don't need/want.Just common sense ...

In reply to by jin187

glenlloyd Dontblamethegoat Sun, 12/17/2017 - 12:40 Permalink

IMO housing is still a hot potato, there need to be more buyers than sellers. I bought the house where I live now in 2011 for super cheap, now every RE investor is sending me letters wanting to buy it because prices have 2x or 3x in this neighborhood and we have millenials driving around looking in exactly this area.I'm sitting here a little while longer, probably spring, then I'm selling and moving back to house #1 in the hood...before I sell that and leave town.Biggest thing I've noticed about millenial home owners is they don't want to do anything to the house / yard (or they can't because they don't know), in fact you rarely see them at all and the houses look not so good. There's one up the street the owner allowed the vines to get out of control and it pulled the gutters down. cracked windows with tape on them, yard with no grass and full of tree debris...etc.

In reply to by Dontblamethegoat

glenlloyd Five Star Sun, 12/17/2017 - 12:45 Permalink

"It takes twice as many years of work to afford an average house as compared to the 60s."Of course it does, that's because debasement was minimal back then, your dollar still had some value, now it has almost no value. It's all about the value of money.And it's not just houses where this doubling of effort is required, it's with everything. Auto prices were far lower back in the 60's, in fact I would venture a guess without doing any research that it takes twice as long to pay for that as well.The distraction has always been the price when the reality is that it's what you're using to pay for it that's being destroyed.

In reply to by Five Star

hllnwlz Ajas Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:11 Permalink

Bull. The Chinese are borrowing it. They may have the fraudulent capital to pay off the homes, but they're leveraged. As marginal buyers, they drive up prices and the rest of the dumbfuck Americans, especially FOMO millennials, around compete, thanks to Freddie and Fannie 3% down loans. Or mommy and daddy give them the heloc money from their overpriced asset. All of it is subprime by definition. Leverage, levetage everywhere. This will end badly. So stay out of debt and get your cash ready to buy when it goes tits up.

In reply to by Ajas

NoPension Gaius Frakkin'… Sat, 12/16/2017 - 06:49 Permalink

I had a chat with my best bud yesterday morning. It was in response to the article about the declining mortality of middle age white guys.
I'm 55...he's 45... we both work with our hands ( and brains) I'm a construction manager..he's a plumber.

We remember the days when carpenter, painter, roofer, mechanic..etc...was a " profession ", and a man could raise and support a family. Then, the borders were thrown wide open..and slave labor started being used. You couldn't compete on price. And make no doubt, price drives the trades. So many left the trades. Men who would train the next generation.

Now..the illegal labor ( made somewhat implicitly legal) is the only thing left, for the most part. And now they come on the job demanding $25 an hour, no overtime, vacation..etc. They are setting the terms. And for the most part..they are not that good. Trust get the job done..but it's a challenge.

Here's the fine point...we both agree....
If you are white and middle age...and you are doing " good "...there's a 95% chance you are collecting a government ck. Teacher, policeman, firefighter, military industrial complex, buerocrat, inspector, etc.
It's to the point where to make it in the real world economy...the real shit that makes things have to sceme and scam to make it. Now , when I mean sceme and's not against customers. It's against your real ENEMY!!!! The government..federal,state and local. You know...the entity that operates the system in the land in which you were born. BUT...benefits illegals, minorities, single women...and pretty much any peice of low down, lazy scum that can make its way here.
These millennials are fucked right at the beginning of their working life. The start in the hole with a giant debt for a college education, that's basically useless...but required anymore to get a janitor job.

For now...I'm hanging on. No big dreams of retirement. No Pension. But, I've not decided to do heroin...yet. Quit drinking 15 years ago ( it's been better..all in all. But I still long for the escape). But..I can see how it's easy to just give in...and blow your fucking brains out.
Saturday morning...I'm heading of to Ft.Meade proper ( not on base..but close by) to manage Mexicans. About a week or so and this project is finished.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

Marge N Call NoPension Sat, 12/16/2017 - 08:27 Permalink

Hey NoPension, you explained it much better (and more succinctly) than the PHDs who study this stuff and came to essentially "startling" conclusion. And that's the sad fact of it all: in today's degenerate, corrupt, PC environment, if you are white maie, by 55 you are either in on the scam, weathly, or one of the millions who are  fucked over by the those who are in on the scam. We used to call those millions of white males "middle class".And the kicker for the Tribe: guess what happens to the families of those who became durg addicted or dead? Why of course they go to the loving govmt for help (The same govmt that fucked them over in the first place). Funny how that works out, huh? 

In reply to by NoPension

toady Refuse-Resist Sat, 12/16/2017 - 10:50 Permalink

It was a difficult decision, or would have been if I made it consciously, but I just kinda slid from being a productive human being to an ungodly parasite.It helped that I was in IT where a future of useless eaters and wildly inappropriate immigration policies were very apparent. I saw the end coming about ten years early and went full rentier... with a dash of government subsidy and a handful of scams.Sometimes I wish the world was a place where I could be more productive, more useful, but we are forced to live in reality... this is not a fantasy planet.I've missed a few things... I didn't see the stock market run up, so I missed that, and I have no idea what comes next, but I'm building up to be self sufficient. That way we can continue eating no matter what happens.

In reply to by Refuse-Resist

AGuy NoPension Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:34 Permalink

"We remember the days when carpenter, painter, roofer, mechanic..etc...was a " profession ", and a man could raise and support a family..I'm heading of to Ft.Meade proper"

You work in a high tax. high regulated, blue region. No wonder your having issues.

"If you are white and middle age...and you are doing " good "...there's a 95% chance you are collecting a government ck."

Nope. Self-employed & I avoid all gov't work!

"I'm hanging on. No big dreams of retirement. No Pension"

Probably Just about everyone under 60 will never be able to retire. So don't feel bad since your not alone. I suspect in the next decade most Gov't pensions and corp pension will go bust. Good luck for those that find out their state/local pension goes bust and that they have no Social Security since they only paid into the state pension and no SS contribution made. Also SS is liking going to start hiking up the age to collect. SS goes Red again in 2020 (presuming no recession before 2020).

In reply to by NoPension

FredFlintstone NoPension Sat, 12/16/2017 - 13:09 Permalink

I hear ya. You manage Mexicans doing construction at Ft. Meade? Holy shit, that is the home of NSA, right? I am an engineering consultant and worked for a Chinese couple at one point. They would have to sign me on to military bases since they held the golden government contracts. I am a US citizen born and raised here and they were red chinese communists who got their citizenship in mid life. They live in a multi million dollar home and suck up the .gov contracts. What a country we live in. How will it all end?

In reply to by NoPension

glenlloyd Gaius Frakkin'… Sun, 12/17/2017 - 12:49 Permalink

I have to dispute the statement "100% of Baby Boomers who did everything right and were merely victims." Boomers spent like drunken sailors throughout their lives and now have nothing, in fact many have not even paid off their houses. So don't tell me they did everything right, that's blatantly false.Boomers were just as much to blame for their victimization as they were being the victim. The boomers I know (aside from myself) never saved a penny and now they're paying for it (literally).Boomers are not an example I would ascribe for anyone...ever.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

PorscheNoSub Cardinal Fang Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:52 Permalink

Early "millenial" in the Midwest. "Own" 2 homes. Probably above average for households my age. Self-sufficient since before high school as far as just living. Been fixing my parents' home then till moving out and still some.  Any house that is decently priced is old. As in a money sink for terrible galvanized drains, no insulation, no ground wires, clay sewer lines, poorly constructed additions, asbestos tile/siding/insulation, single pane windows, etc. More modern construction homes (not always better) with decent prices are foreclosures (trashed/mortgage/title problems) or all cash sales.  I have been able to more than double my income in 10 years but have had to change jobs relatively often. I will not own again for the forseeable future. I am moving too often to gain better employment and a house as any sort of asset is not worth the hassle. Both have been severe time and money sinks. Others I know my age who do buy end up paying way too much for what they are getting. One is static in their goverment job and the other already moved for a new job with their current house just still there.  I would say the driver for people I know is employment. Companies do not offer any meaningful increase in wages over a comparable time that the cost of living increases. You can't get anywhere buying anything decent with the wages available with the likelihood of moving inside 18 months in a still tight housing market.  I also already did the small business thing and it is a giant headache to be fully legit. Not worth it as a side business.  PMs and other saving the only plan now for the big BTFD or rainy day. Just my 2 cents. 

In reply to by Cardinal Fang

Mazzy PorscheNoSub Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:07 Permalink

We're in similar boats.  I'm about your age and have been frugal all my life.  My income is going up pretty rapidly, but I'm going to give self-employment a shot here.  I'm on my first house, but it could use some appliances and a new NVAC system.  If I planned on another few years here I'd go ahead and get those done, but I wanna move somewhere cheaper with less stress.How are my peers doing?  Not good.  Not a single friend out of 20 owns a home.  Many are hitting their MID-30's and still living at home with parents.  That, to me, is just stunted life-growth.  How do people in their 30's just have no money?  Where does it all go?  What do they blow it all on?

In reply to by PorscheNoSub

toady PorscheNoSub Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

I was moving a lot for better job prospects for about ten years, so I just fell into renting/being a landlord by leaving a house behind every time I moved.You can get tight sometimes, paying multiple mortgages, things can get dicey with renters,  and you must buy quality homes in good areas to attract renters  (you seem to realize that last one), but, if you get to the point where the houses are paid off you have set up a nice revenue stream.Then again, I did this back before the last housing boom (in the 90's). You're probably priced out now... I'm kinda sorta waiting for a crash to pick up a few houses on the cheap.

In reply to by PorscheNoSub

AGuy PorscheNoSub Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:56 Permalink

"I have been able to more than double my income in 10 years but have had to change jobs relatively often. I will not own again for the forseeable future. I am moving too often to gain better employment"

Yup, Welcome to age of Nomadic careers where workers must frequently relocate to see employment. Companies are moving away from traditional employment to project oriented jobs: You are giving a contract for a project but not hired. You move from one project to the next.

One option is to find a cheap place to buy a home and use that as your home base. You rent a shared apartment/condo and return home during your days off. Either work hard 4 days a week and return home for a 3-day weekend, or work hard on a project 6+ days a week/12-14 hour days, and then take a month or two off at home.

"You can't get anywhere buying anything decent with the wages available with the likelihood of moving inside 18 months in a still tight housing market. "

Yup, Healthcare costs & state/local/property taxes are increaing on businesses, making it difficult to provide wage increases. Plus the job market is soft so there is no pressure on wages, when companies get thousands of applications for a single job opening.

"I also already did the small business thing and it is a giant headache to be fully legit. Not worth it as a side business."

Depends on your customer base. Avoid retail/consumers and focus on B2B - Business to Business customers. Limit to mid-size or large companies, as even the smaller companies, especially retail businesses will nickel & dime you to death.

In reply to by PorscheNoSub

Mazzy NoPension Sat, 12/16/2017 - 11:09 Permalink

You gotta have confidence for those things.  When I first bought my house I let a friend of mine push the lawnmower while I was out doing that job.  She had never done it before and was nearly 30.  But that's what happens when you live in an HOA community.  Some people just don't learn the kinds of things that those of us growing up with a couple acres learned how to do.And yes, you have to actually pick up sticks in the yard and rake leaves.  PITA, but it's just gotta be done.  The alternative is you can go live as a sardine in NYC or LA or something. 

In reply to by NoPension

AGuy flybye Sat, 12/16/2017 - 12:04 Permalink

"True, but more than 50% totally worthless and braindead."

Probably more like 85%. Its getting to the point if I walk into a store/service dept and I need to speak with someone and there is a millennial, I usually just leave since its not worth my time. 90% they are obstructionist or provide wrong\bad information.

In reply to by flybye

Cynicles II Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:28 Permalink

Top ten US shitholes:" 1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: 42.4% and $222,5282. St. Louis, MO-IL: 40.2% and $167,7913. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI: 40.2% and $148,4044. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN: 38.5% and $158,9745. Pittsburgh, PA: 37.5% and $152,7316. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN: 37.4% and $161,8567. Kansas City, MO-KS: 37.1% and $170,2548. Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN: 37.0% and $213,0909. Oklahoma City, OK: 36.7% and $172,48510. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD: 36.3% and $272,805 "

swmnguy Cynicles II Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:46 Permalink

I'm happy to consider Minneapolis a shithole.  As US cities go, it's got a high general level of education, good jobs, high wages; it's clean, stuff works, decent to good public schools, low crime, very safe if you're not involved in the drug trade or domestic violence or alcoholism, easy to get around, short commutes, lots of nonstop flights, nice airport, pretty low gas prices, reasonably priced housing and food.  Lots of blonde, non-confrontational women.  Again, as large citiies go.Don't move here. It's a shithole and you'd hate it.

In reply to by Cynicles II