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Data Snashot: Area cities score low on study of popular cities for millennial homebuyers

Certain U.S. cities are attracting more millennials buying homes, a LendingTree study says.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. March 30, 2018
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Stereotypes abound about millennials — they’re self-centered, they’re glued to their phones, they’re serial renters who don’t care about homeownership.

But a study recently released by Charlotte, N.C.-based lending exchange LendingTree speaks to millennials bucking the renting trend and choosing homeownership instead. Typically, millennials are defined as people born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

Using data the company collected, the study says millennial homebuyers make up a third of mortgage requests. Between Feb. 1, 2017 and Feb. 1, 2018, 32.5% of mortgage requests through LendingTree came from people 35 years and younger.

One hiccup for Florida in the study, which also ranked 100 U.S. cities, from the most popular for millennial homebuyers to the least popular: The Sunshine State is a bottom-dweller when it comes to millennial homebuyers. 

Several cities on the west coast of Florida were named among the least popular, where millennials aren’t buying homes at as great of a rate. Last on the LendingTree list, at No. 100, was Sarasota. Then came Fort Myers at No. 99, Lakeland at No. 95 and Tampa at No. 92. By way of explanation, the study says the Florida cities are more popular with retirees than millennials. (The study names cities, not regions or metropolitan statistical  areas, MSAs.)

The five most popular cities for millennial homebuyers, according to the study, are Des Moines, Iowa; Pittsburgh;, Buffalo; Lansing, Mich.; and Fort Wayne, Ind. 

In Des Moines, the study says 42.4% of mortgage requests come from people 35 and younger. The other four cities in the top five have rates from 41.9% to 39.2%. The average age of homebuyers under 35 in Des Moines is 28.8 years old, the report shows. 

In Sarasota, 17.9% of mortgage requests come from millennials. In Fort Myers, it’s 19.8%. In Lakeland, 24.1% come from millennials, according to the study. Tampa has 25.2% of requests from millennials. The average age of homebuyers 35 and younger in Sarasota is the same as it is in Des Moines — 28.8.

In a statement, LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze says, “The biggest challenges for millennial homebuyers are having funds for a down payment and a good credit history. Potential buyers should educate themselves on how to improve their credit scores and create a savings plan to raise the down payment."


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