Study: Majority of Columbus homebuyers are millennials

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More than half of Columbus homebuyers are millennials, according to a new study from the mortgage lead generation company LendingTree.

The company found that 51.2% of central Ohio mortgage applicants from January through November last year were millennials, people that were born between 1981 and 1996 and so in the prime homebuying ages of 23 to 38.

The study reveals how the generation has come to dominate the housing market in U.S. cities. Lending Tree found that millennials accounted for more than half of new mortgages in 30 of the nation's 50 largest cities.

"It has been trending upwards, as millennials get older, get married, have children, especially as millennials enter their 30s," said Lending Tree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze.

"And as you get older, student loan debt becomes less of a burden, which allows you to save more for a down payment."

The study doesn't precisely measure buyers. Instead, it measures those who applied for a mortgage through LendingTree, and therefore could overestimate the number of millennial buyers because they are more likely to need a mortgage and to use an online lender than older buyers.

According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials made up 37% of all U.S. homebuyers in 2018. That figure represents all markets, not just urban buyers, more of whom tend to be millennials, Kapfidze noted.

LendingTree found that millennials make up a particularly large share of borrowers in Northern industrial cities, where homes tend to be less expensive.

The hottest market for millennials is Minneapolis, where they make up 56.2% of borrowers. Close behind are Buffalo, New York (56.1%); San Jose, California (55.8%); Denver (55.3%); and Salt Lake City (54.9%).

The least attractive cities for millennials are, not surprisingly, retirement destinations: Tampa, Florida (where millennials accounted for 40.3% of borrowers); Las Vegas (40.3%); Miami (43.6%); Jacksonville, Florida (43.7%); and Phoenix (43.7%).

With 51.2% of borrowers being millennials, Columbus landed exactly in the middle of the pack of the nation's 50 largest cities. Cleveland's and Cincinnati's markets are more dominated by millennials, who account for 53% of borrowers in Cleveland and 52.6% of borrowers in Cincinnati.

Tribune Content Agency