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Across the country, buyers are competing in what has been called the “harshest market yet“—but for millennials, the competition is fiercest in higher-income metros, according to an analysis by®:

  1. San Jose, Calif.
    List Price (Median): $1,244,000
    Millennial Income: $109,800
    Millennial Population: 14.3 percent
  1. Seattle, Wash.
    List Price (Median): $553,000
    Millennial Income: $78,300
    Millennial Population: 15.4 percent
  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
    List Price (Median): $394,000
    Millennial Income: $67,800
    Millennial Population: 15.5 percent
  1. Minneapolis, Minn.
    List Price (Median): $283,000
    Millennial Income: $73,600
    Millennial Population: 13.8 percent
  1. Omaha, Neb.
    List Price (Median): $283,000
    Millennial Income: $63,500
    Millennial Population: 13.8 percent

Across the five markets, the economies are flourishing, and Gen Y is raking in more than the average millennial, who earns $59,800 yearly.

The issue?

“Millennials want to buy, but record-low inventory is making it extremely difficult,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for “Our analysis shows millennials are facing challenges in both established markets such as San Jose and Seattle, as well as more recently popular areas like Omaha and Salt Lake City.”

The dearth of inventory is a nationwide problem, but intensified in the markets ranked. According to the analysis, there are 8 percent fewer listings nationally year-over-year, but across the five markets, there are 9 percent less—and though the age of inventory nationally is down 7 percent, in the five markets, age of inventory is down by double, roughly: 13 percent.

The paradox is pronounced in San Jose and Seattle, in that there are blinding-bright employment prospects, but severely short supply. In both cities, the demand from the influx of residents, including younger workers, is exceeding what the market has to offer. Both have above-average pay, but earnings are failing to keep pace with prices—and the challenges in the top two are manifesting in Minneapolis, Omaha and Salt Lake City, where burgeoning demand is impacting inventory.

According to Hale, however, millennials are undeterred.

“Despite the difficulties, first-timers are optimistic and more than willing to weather the challenges this spring has to offer,” Hale says.

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DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark