“As Millennials continue to enter the housing market, we are seeing great activity in the middle of the US, where inventory is generally more affordable than on the coasts,” says Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae.
Top 11 cities for Millennial home buyers
1. Athens, Ohio: 59%
A little more than an hour away from Columbus, Athens is home to Ohio University — which helps explain why it’s among the most Millennial-dense counties in the state.
2. Aberdeen, S.D.: 56%
Aberdeen is a three-hour drive away from the nearest large cities: Sioux Falls to the south and Fargo to the north. Aberdeen is home to Northern State University, and Ag Processing just opened a new soybean plant there.
3. Williston, N.D.: 55%
Williston’s population grew from 12,000 in 2007 to over 30,000 today, but unemployment there is well below the national average, and the household median income is more than $83,000. North Dakota boom towns are threatened by stubbornly low oil prices, however, which reduces demand for shale oil.
4. Lima, Ohio: 55%
Lima hosts both the University of Northwest Ohio and an Ohio State University branch. The town brags that it’s a good place for large commercial development (it attracted 10 such projects in 2015), ranking sixth among small metropolitan areas, according to Site Selection magazine.
5. Dickinson, N.D.: 54%
Dickinson was actually the poster child for North Dakota’s oil boom and bust. As one example of the area’s frenetic rise, Dunn County, just north of Dickinson, saw its road construction budget jump from $1.5 million to $25 million in three years. Single-family housing construction permits jumped 330% in one year.
6. Odessa, Texas: 51%
Odessa, Texas, is also an oil town, located in the oil-rich West Texas Permian Basin. The oil bust hurt Odessa, too: it lost 12,200 jobs or about 15% of its employment when oil prices fell. More recently, though, the run-up in prices added 53,000 jobs and the economy is in recovery.
7. Quincy, Ill.: 49%
Located directly across the Mississippi River from Mark Twain’s Hannibal, Mo., Quincy has thrived thanks to smart planning dating back to the 1980s, when the city built a successful industrial park to attract employers. With its low unemployment and high graduation rates, Quincy made the Forbes list of top 15 small places to raise a family in 2010.
8. El Paso, Texas: 49%
El Paso’s economy is boosted by a heavy presence of federal government employees. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection all have operations there, and Fort Bliss is nearby.
9. Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisc.: 49%
Many Americans know this town, about an hour from Green Bay, as the home of OshKosh B’gosh. Military contracts also fuel the local economy. Oshkosh Defense, formerly Oshkosh Truck, builds specialty heavy rigs for government agencies, especially the military. The firm recently won a $6.7 billion contract to build a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle for the U.S. Army. Oshkosh is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, the third largest university in the state, with 14,000 students
10. Pottsville, Penn.: 48%
An hour outside Harrisburg, Pottsville is home to Yuengling, now the largest locally owned brewery in America. Like many rural Pennsylvania towns, Pottsville is struggling and slowly losing population — it’s down from almost 17,000 in 1990 to just under 14,000 now, but with young buyers taking up residence here, that could change in the near future.
11. Owensboro, Ky.: 48%
Nestled along the banks of the Ohio River, Owensboro doesn’t have an interstate highway, but it is within a few hours’ drive of Louisville, Nashville, and St. Louis. The town counts U.S. Bank among its largest employers — the firm’s national mortgaging service center is located there. A downtown makeover has also made this river city a nice place to live and work.
Source: EllieMae Millenial Tracker
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