The top 10 places in the US where millennials are dominating the mortgage market

  • Millennials hold the biggest share of new mortgages by dollar volume in the US, according to a new report from Realtor.com.
  • Despite buying cheaper homes than Generation X and baby boomers, millennials are putting down less money up front, resulting in larger mortgages.
  • In the top markets for first-time millennial homebuyers, monthly homeownership costs take up an average of 25% of the median income for millennials aged 25 to 34, compared with 31% nationally.

Millennials were on a homebuying tear by the end of 2018. 

A new report from Realtor.com revealed millennials — defined as the generation aged 19 to 37 — for the first time hold the largest share (42%) of new mortgage loans by dollar volume in the US, more than Generation X and baby boomers. 

Millennials as a group are buying more homes than ever. Despite buying cheaper homes than older generations, on average, millennials are making lower down payments. Paired with rising home prices, they're seeking larger mortgages.

Read more: Millennials are taking on bigger mortgages than ever before, and it shows we've been wrong about them for years

The data show that in 10 US metros, millennials made up between 48% and 56% of new mortgage holders in 2018, and the affordability of these markets seems to be a huge draw. On average, monthly homeownership costs in these markets represent only 25% of the median income for millennials aged 25 to 34, compared with 31% nationally, Realtor.com found.

Below are the top-10 markets where millennials took on the highest shares of new mortgages in 2018. 

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US states where millennials are dominating the mortgage market
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US states where millennials are dominating the mortgage market

10. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 47%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 42%

Year-over-year difference: 4.7%

8 (TIE). Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 48%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 43%

Year-over-year difference: 4.3%

8 (TIE). Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 48%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 44%

Year-over-year difference: 3.8%

7. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 49%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 45%

Year-over-year difference: 3.7%

6. St. Louis, Missouri

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 50%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 46%

Year-over-year difference: 3.6% 

4 (TIE). Columbus, Ohio

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 51%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 46%

Year-over-year difference: 4.8%

4 (TIE). Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 51%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 46%

Year-over-year difference: 4.8%

2 (TIE). Cincinnati, Ohio

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 52%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 48%

Year-over-year difference: 4.3%

2 (TIE). Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 52%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 47%

Year-over-year difference: 5.2%

1. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, New York

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2018: 56%

Share of new millennial-held mortgages 2017: 48%

Year-over-year difference: 8.8%

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