Human Resources and Real Estate

Grand Rapids ranks among best home markets for millennials

August 11, 2014
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Sable Homes builds out foreclosed development
Sable Homes’ model home for its Stone Crest development in Courtland Township. Courtesy Sable Homes

Grand Rapids is one of the top 10 markets in the nation for buying a home if you’re a millennial.

The Grand Rapids market is ranked as one of the best "purchase markets" in the U.S. for "aspiring millennial homebuyers" to become homeowners, according to a study released last month by the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. The study only considered "leading-edge millenialls" between the ages 25-34.

The association, which is considered the largest trade association in the U.S., analyzed the job creation, population trends and housing conditions in 100 metro areas that have a noted millennial presence.

Millennial market

Since the housing market crashed at the beginning of the Great Recession, first-time homebuyers have been "largely absent from the housing market."

Now, that trend is changing, and Grand Rapids is one of the markets leading the way for housing independence for a generation that has found itself moving back in with their parents.

In the Grand Rapids market, the share of millennial movers to movers of any age is 26.60 percent, and the share of millennials to the total population is 13.80 percent.

“Millennials will eventually settle down, trade their roommates for spouses and want to raise a family,” said Steve Brown, NAR president and co-owner of Irongate Inc., Realtors in Dayton, Ohio. “As long as median income continues to support purchasing power in most areas, the demand and opportunity will be there for millennials to purchase their first home.”

Seven of the 10 cities that made the the association's cut are either in the Midwest or the West.

Austin and Salt Lake City are highlighted for excellence in job growth and affordable housing prices.

“Limited job prospects, student debt and flat wage growth have combined with tight credit conditions and low inventory to price millennials out of some of the top cities, such as New York and San Francisco,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist, NAR. “However, NAR research finds that there are other metro areas millennials are moving to, where job growth is strong and homeownership is more attainable. These markets are well-positioned to soon experience a rise in first-time buyers as the economy improves.”

“Best purchase markets for millennial homebuyers”

Austin, Texas
Dallas
Denver
Des Moines, Iowa
Grand Rapids
Minneapolis
New Orleans
Ogden, Utah
Salt Lake City
Seattle

Source: National Association of Realtors, 2014

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