Austin, Texas is the best market in the nation for millennials to purchase real estate, according to a June 2016 report by the National Association of Realtors that reviewed employment, population, income, and housing condition data in the nation’s largest metro areas.
Among the rankings, Charleston came in second, followed by Denver, Minneapolis, and Ogden, Utah for the top five. Portland, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. comprised the rest of the top ten.
According to the report, millennials represent 18% of the Austin population and 29.4% of those moving into Austin. These figures both represented the largest percentage of millennials among the 100 largest metro areas. Austin employment grew 4.9% over the 12-month period ending in March 2016, helping create a vigorous influx of the burgeoning population.
Realtor.com quoted Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke: “The millennial generation’s move into homeownership is one of the most important drivers of the real estate market over the next 15 to 20 years.” It said he expects that younger buyers will purchase about two million homes in 2016, making up about a third of United States home sales.
Prices for Austin’s homes, while growing rapidly in recent years, are significantly lower than in many of the other big cities – such as in Silicon Valley. In Austin, the qualifying income for property purchases is $43,635, and the median household income is $51,810.
The report noted Austin’s reputation as “Silicon Hills” because of its concentration of tech giants, a factor that tends to draw in a younger work force. Realtor.com pointed to the struggles of millennials living in cities with higher property costs. It noted that even though incomes may be higher, living expenses are so high that it is difficult for that group to save for a home down payment.