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Where can millennials best thrive in the current environment? The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently ranked the top metros for millennials amidst the pandemic, taking into consideration the following: housing affordability, local job market conditions, the millennial population in the area, and available inventory across the largest 100 U.S. metros.

These are the top 10 markets with favorable conditions for millennial homebuyers during the pandemic:

1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
3. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
4. Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh, N.C.
5. Houston-The Woodlands, Texas
6. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.
7. Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa
8. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.
9. Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Wash.
10. Salt Lake City, Utah

In terms of jobs, April data shows that employment declined by an average of 13 percent in the largest metros compared to last year. A few areas, however, had only an average 8 percent drop YoY: Dallas, Houston, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. May employment numbers are more optimistic across the board.

“Employment data quickly turned for the better with surprising net job creations in May. There are still people getting laid off and filing for unemployment insurance for the first time, but job creations are exceeding that by a good margin of 2.5 million in May. Total personal income actually grew during the lockdown from the massive stimulus package, including enhanced unemployment insurance, and savings rose tremendously,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “People saved around 8 percent of their income before the pandemic and they saved 33 percent of their income in the latest month. With many economies advancing in phases of reopening, more money will be spent, and more job additions will follow.

“The housing sector is in a V-shaped recovery.,” added Yun. “The broader economy will not be, and the double-digit unemployment rate may persist till the end of the year. Still, the latest jobs data is showing much better recovery potential.”

In addition, inventory declined 18 percent on average across all metros, with Des Moines and Omaha as outliers, increasing inventory by 5 percent and 1 percent, respectively, according to data from realtor.com®.

“Record-low mortgage rates have improved housing affordability, bringing more buyers into the market, and multiple offers for starter homes could become common in these metro areas,” said Yun. “With relatively better employment conditions and a strong presence of millennials in these markets, more new home construction will be required to fully satisfy the housing demand as the economy reopens.”

“Nationally, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers and these metropolitan areas, in particular, offer great opportunities to realize the dream of homeownership,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif. “As states and cities begin to reopen, millennials will play a significant role in the housing market’s recovery.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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