Millennials aren’t waiting for marriage to buy a home — at least not in these cities

September 10, 2018 - 2 min read

Top cities for single buyers

Going digital isn’t the only way Millennials are approaching home buying differently than past generations. According to new data, they’re also eschewing the “marry first; buy a house second” tradition. In some markets, single Millennial home buyers are even outnumbering married ones by a mile.

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Where Millennials are buying solo

According to the latest Millennial Tracker from Ellie Mae, Millennials aren’t waiting for marriage to buy a home — especially in the Midwest.

In Bay City, Michigan, for example, 82 percent of Millennial home buyers in July were single. Cheyenne, Wyoming, also had 82 percent single, and in Norwalk, Ohio, four out of every five Millennial buyers a house bought solo.

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Joe Tyrell, Ellie Mae’s executive vice president of corporate strategy, said many of these buyers are gravitating to the Midwest, due to the region’s lower home prices.

“Millennials are purchasing more homes than any other generation, and we’re seeing many single borrowers take advantage of opportunities now rather than waiting to purchase a home around a big life event such as getting married or starting a family,” Tyrell said. “We’re also seeing Millennials get more for their money by purchasing homes in affordable markets.”

Other cities where single Millennial home buyers outnumbered married ones were Batavia, New York; New Philadelphia-Dover, Ohio; Pocatello, Idaho; Williston and Minot, North Dakota; Columbus, Indiana; College Station-Bryan, Texas; Ames, Iowa; and Fairfield-Northfield, Minnesota.

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Who are they?

Overall, single Millennial home buyers had an average FICO score of 720 in July and took out a mortgage just under $180,000. Most borrowers chose conventional loans (68 percent), with FHA loans (27 percent) and VA loans (3 percent) at second and third.

Men accounted for 53 percent of single buyers, as well as 61 percent primary borrowers. The average age of Millennial home buyers that month was 29.8.

The number of single Millennial buyers was lowest in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where just 24 percent bought their home solo.

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.