More affordable and better choice are driving more millennials to buy in the suburbs and fewer in city neighborhoods, according to the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study.
The share of millennials buying in an urban or central city area decreased to 17 percent in 2016 from 21 percent a year ago while more than half (51%) of buyers under age 35 bought in the suburbs, up from 49 percent a year ago, the study found.
However, younger buyers are not making a permanent commitment to the suburban lifestyle. Buyers 35 years and younger expect stay in their new homes only ten years—the same tenure as last year– compared to the median of 14 years for all age groups, an increase from 12 years in 2015.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said while millennials may choose to live in an urban area as renters, the survey reveals that most aren’t staying once they are ready to buy. “The median age of a millennial homebuyer is 30 years old, which typically is the time in life where one settles down to marry and raise a family,” he said. “Even if an urban setting is where they’d like to buy their first home, the need for more space at an affordable price is, for the most part, pushing their search further out.”