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Older Millennials now represent the largest age bracket of prospective homebuyers in the US. They are, unsurprisingly, drawn to metros that have thriving economies and strong job markets, according to a report released today by the listing site Realtor.com.

In recent years, Millennials have delayed homebuying longer than previous generations due to student loan debt, difficulty in saving for a down payment, and the lack of availability of affordable housing nationwide.

However, monthly Realtor.com surveys revealed that since October 2016 older Millennials now make up 24 percent of all would-be homebuyers — the largest share of potential homebuyers of all generational groups. Older Millennials — those between the ages of 25 and 34 — also displayed different location preferences compared to older generations.

By then examining listing view activity on its site over the last eight months, Realtor.com determined that older Millennials viewed listings in mostly urban metros. The top viewed metros were Salt Lake City, UT, Miami, FL and Orlando, FL, where older Millennials viewed listings 1.2 times more often compared to other US metros, according to Realtor.com’s data.

The top markets drew more older Millennials due to strong economies and job growth. Salt Lake City — the top draw — already has a larger than normal share of older Millennials. This is not surprising given that the city has one of the fastest growing populations in the country, a rapid rate of job growth coupled with a low unemployment rate, currently below 3 percent.

Salt Lake City is also a relatively affordable metro area. The percentage of income required to buy a median priced home is 30 percent, which is only slightly higher than the current national average of 27.8 percent.
Older Millennials accounted for 38 percent of new mortgages in Salt Lake City over the past three months compared to 33 percent nationally.

However, Realtor.com pointed out that some metros like Albany, NY and Buffalo, NY are attracting older Millennials because of their relative affordability alone. In Buffalo, the percentage of income required to buy a home was only 22.7 percent, while it was only a slightly higher at 27.3 percent in Albany — both well below the national average.

The other top spots for older Millennials included the Seatle, WA, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, and San Jose, CA metro areas.

Among the generational groups, older Millennials and Gen Xers tended to search in more urban areas than suburban or rural areas, according to Realtor.com. Whereas, older generations like Baby Boomers favored more suburban areas. The closer in age the generational groups are, the more similar their housing location searches were.

Click here to read the entire report.

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