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The top cities for Millennials: Where Generation Y is putting down roots

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Millennials aren’t gravitating toward the huge urban centers like most would expect. According to new data, they’re actually heading to smaller towns in the midwest — like Madison, Wisconsin and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Millennials in the Midwest

A new report from the National Association of Realtors shows that Millennials are moving to some unexpected places.

Madison, Wisconsin tops the list, with 75 percent of recent inbound movers hailing from the Millennial generation. Nearly a third of all residents in the city are Millennials.

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According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, the city’s high median income has a lot to do with it.

“In comparison to other areas, Madison offers one of the highest wages for Millennials,” Yun said. “Moreover, this income level combined with the robust employment opportunities and the affordability, make Madison among one of the most appealing locations for Millennials who are looking to stay longer and raise families.”

Millennials outrank Boomers on recent mortgages

Other top cities for Millennials

Grand Rapids, Michigan is also a popular spot for Millennial moves. Millennials account for 73 percent of recent moves and 27 percent of the population.

Other top cities for Gen Y also include Omaha, Nebraska; Durham, North Carolina; and Seattle, as well as the West Coast. California’s Bakersfield is also a particularly popular spot. Millennials account for 28 percent of the population and 67 percent of recent moves.

“The increasing employment rate in California is another strong selling point among this generation,” Yun said. “While the rate of unemployment in Bakersfield is higher than it is nationwide, we’re seeing job growth there pick up at a strong pace. Home building in Bakersfield is rising, too. Many newcomers to San Francisco and Los Angeles do not stay for long because of unaffordability. Millennials moving to Bakersfield meanwhile are looking to take advantage of conditions toward homeownership.”

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Are you looking to buy in one of these Millennial hotspots? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Sep 22nd, 2019)