Millennials love this new housing community in a forgotten stretch of California thanks to its ultra-fast internet and dirt cheap home prices

  • Millennials represent 36% of all homebuyers in America today.
  • A new housing community in Ontario, California, called New Haven, reports a millennial homeownership rate of more than 50%.
  • New Haven offers modest homes at affordable prices for the area, from $200,000 to $500,000.

California is no paragon of affordability, particularly when it comes to housing.

In five California metro areas — including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego — the salary needed to qualify for a mortgage to buy a median-priced home is over $100,000 a year.

Homeownership in California on a typical income isn't feasible for many of today's would-be buyers, at least in the state's biggest metropolitan hubs.

Nationally, millennials (the generation born between 1981 to 1996) represent 36% of all homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors' most recent trend report. Their median income is $88,200.

As a result, millennials who want to own homes are moving to the suburbs

RELATED: Check out 2017's best U.S. cities for homeowners:

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1. Denver, Colorado

If you recently became a homeowner in the Mile High City, you can pat yourself on the back. Our data shows that Denver is the best city for homeowners. Home values have been consistently growing. From 2010 to 2015, Denver home values grew 12.6%, with a 5.3% increase between 2014 and 2015. Denver also has the second-lowest average effective property tax rate in our top 10 at 0.54%.

Compare mortgage rates with our free mortgage rates comparison tool. 

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2. Fremont, California

Demand for housing in Fremont has risen recently, perhaps due to the city’s proximity to San Diego. Fremont residents saw the largest rise in median home values in our top 10 from 2014 to 2015. Values rose 5.58% over that time period. But the short-term growth is not the only reason Fremont is a great place for homeowners. Fremont also has one of the lowest property crime rates in the country. There are 1,880 property crimes per 100,000 residents in Fremont. 

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3. Aurora, Colorado

Aurora saw median home values jump more than 5% from 2014 to 2015. To put that 5% in context, the median home value in Aurora in 2014 was $179,300 and grew to $189,100 in 2015. However the longer-term trends are not as favorable for Aurora homeowners as they are for some other cities. Growth over the six-year period from 2010 to 2015 shows that home values only rose about 0.7%.

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4. Honolulu, Hawaii

Homeowners in Hawaii have seen some impressive growth in home values over the past few years. Over the 2010 to 2015 time period, median home values in Honolulu grew 8% and from 2014 to 2015, they grew 3.4%. Homeowners in Honolulu also have the benefit of paying very low property taxes – only 0.29%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. 

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5. Irvine, California

From 2014 to 2015, median home values in Irvine grew from $662,200 to $688,200. That’s an increase of almost 4%. Over the period of 2010 to 2015, home values grew 1.64%. However, homeowners in Irvine can expect to pay a quite a bit in property taxes. Data from the Census Bureau shows that the average effective property tax rate in Irvine is 0.81%. That’s the second-highest in the top 10.

Buying in the Golden State? Check out California mortgage rates.  

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6. Arlington, Virginia

There is plenty of demand for housing in Arlington, possibly related to how close the city is to the nation’s capital. Home values grew 6.3% in Arlington from 2010 to 2015. That growth looks set to continue, as median home values rose 2.17% from 2014 to 2015, as well. Prospective Arlington buyers will want to be aware that the property tax rate here is on the high side. The 0.87% average effective property tax rate is the highest in the top 10.

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7. Gilbert, Arizona

Gilbert is the first of two Arizona cities to crack our top 10. Home values in Gilbert rose by almost 5.4% between 2014 to 2015. Gilbert also has the lowest property crime rate in the top 10. There are about 1,321 property crimes per 100,000 residents in Gilbert. A fact that homeowners in Gilbert are probably well aware of.

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8. Santa Ana, California

Hopefully if you bought your home in Santa Ana sometime around 2010, you have not sold it yet. The median home value in Santa Ana was down 13% over the period from 2010 to 2015. However, home values now look to be trending up. They rose 5.19% between 2014 and 2015. Santa Ana also offers homeowners an effective property tax rate around 0.7% and a low property crime rate of only 2,155 per 100,000 residents.

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9. (tie) Boston, Massachusetts

With a population of 650,000, Boston is the second-largest city to crack out top 10. Homeowners here will appreciate the increasing home values and low property taxes, especially considering how expensive buying a home can be. The median home in 2015, for example, cost almost $400,000. For the Bostonians who managed to buy a home, they saw median values rise 3.72% from 2014 to 2015. That’s the 30th-fastest rate in our study. Plus, if you own a home in Boston, you can expect to only have to pay an average effective property tax of 0.77% – a top 20 rate in our study.

Photo credit: Getty

9. (tie) Chandler, Arizona

Another suburb of Phoenix, Chandler is great for homeowners for many of the same reasons as Gilbert. Home values in Chandler rose 5.17% from 2014 to 2015. That’s the 14th-largest increase in our study. Property taxes are also very affordable. Homeowners in Chandler pay an average effective property tax of only 0.67%, one of the lowest in the study. 

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"I've wanted to be a homeowner for a while — it was high on my priority list," Sam Shwetz, a 25-year-old homeowner, told Business Insider.

Shwetz and his wife Sydney were renting in Costa Mesa, California when they started to seriously consider becoming homeowners after Shwetz left the army in 2016. They realized buying in Orange County — where the median home price hovers around $714,500 — was not feasible for them.

The young couple looked to the Inland Empire, the large swath of desert and foothills that broadly includes Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ontario counties. It's the fastest-growing metro area in the US as measured by the number of new millennial residents, according to data from RCLCO, a real estate analytics company.

In Ontario, a sleepy town about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, a community called New Haven — part of Ontario Ranch, a sub-development spanning 8,200 acres — caught their eye.

"You have to drive through ranches and cows — it's like, 'Am I still in California?'" Shwetz said.

It's remote, but that doesn't matter. There are parks, pools, recreation centers, new shops and schools being built, plus some of the fastest internet speeds in Southern California. New Haven is a gigabit community; for $60 a month, residents enjoy download speeds of 1,000 megabits per second, or about six seconds for a movie download. It's great for streaming and gaming, Shwetz said.

Millennials accounted for 53% of all home sales in New Haven last year, according to Brookfield Residential, the developer and builder of the community and many others like it throughout Southern California and across the US.

"The price range [for new homes] was fantastic," Shwetz said. Townhouses, condos, and single-family homes in New Haven start at the high $200,000s and top out around $500,000 — a bargain the Shwetz's couldn't pass up.

They both found new jobs in the area — he's a property manager, she's an events assistant at the local university — and last October purchased a 1,900 square-foot home in New Haven for $445,000. After the 20% down payment, Shwetz said, they pay about $100 more a month for their mortgage payment than they were paying to rent an 800 square-foot apartment in Costa Mesa, which is a short 45-minute drive away.

"It takes us less than an hour to get to the beach," Shwetz added. And they still attend the same church in Orange County and meet up with friends there on the weekends.

Even though New Haven imposes high Mello-Roos, a special tax levied on homeowners in new communities in California, and a $117 a month homeowners association fee, Shwetz said it's worth it. Ontario Ranch won't be fully-developed for another decade, at least, as it aims to house about 162,000 residents in 47,000 homes, with enough schools, and retail and business space to accommodate. The Shwetz's are early adopters of sorts.

"It's a trade-off. There are not a lot of amenities yet, but there are plans to do it," Shwetz said. "In my mind, that's why housing prices are cheap and as they build up, housing values will go up."

"It's a pretty screaming deal," he said.

NOW WATCH: Millennials are paying $40 a night to live in these tiny 'pods'

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SEE ALSO: American homes are more affordable than they've been in 40 years — but that could change sooner than you think

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