NAR Identifies Best Markets for Millennial Homebuying in Pandemic

Washington, DC, June 19, 2020-The National Association of Realtors (NAR) identified ten markets with favorable conditions for millennial homebuyers during the coronavirus pandemic. In alphabetical order, the markets are,

Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa

Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh, North Carolina

Houston-The Woodlands, Texas

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana

Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona

Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington

Salt Lake City, Utah

“Record-low mortgage rates have improved housing affordability, bringing more buyers into the market, and multiple offers for starter homes could become common in these metro areas,” said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun. “With relatively better employment conditions and a strong presence of millennials in these markets, more new home construction will be required to fully satisfy the housing demand as the economy reopens.”

NAR identified the top ten metro areas for millennial homebuyers by analyzing current housing affordability, local job market conditions during the coronavirus pandemic, the share of millennials in the area and inventory availability in the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas across the country.

“Nationally, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers and these metropolitan areas, in particular, offer great opportunities to realize the dream of homeownership,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, California. “As states and cities begin to reopen, millennials will play a significant role in the housing market’s recovery.”

Nationwide, the typical household can afford to buy 40% of the homes currently listed for sale compared to 34% a year earlier, according to the Realtors Affordability Distribution Score, a collaboration between the National Association of Realtors and The score measures the affordability of current for-sale homes overall as well as at different income levels. In these top ten markets, affordability increased more this year than it did nationwide. For example, a household earning $100,000 in Dallas can afford to buy 56% of homes currently listed for sale compared to 45% last year.

According to April 2020 employment data, employment declined by an average of nearly 13% in the largest 100 metro areas compared to last year. However, in Dallas, Houston, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, employment dropped 8% from a year earlier.

The ten markets listed had a smaller share of workers, on average, in industries most affected by the pandemic-induced economic lockdown. For example, in Durham and Des Moines, 15% and 17% of employees, respectively, work in industries at high risk from coronavirus. The average for the largest 100 metropolitan areas is 21%.

Another common factor among these markets is better-than-average inventory availability. For Des Moines and Omaha, the number of active listings in April 2020 increased by 5% and 1%, respectively, according to However, inventory declined 18% on average in the largest 100 metro areas.

Three in ten residents in these markets-30%-are millennials. With millennials making up the largest cohort of homebuyers, these areas are expected to see many of their millennial residents become homeowners.