10 Cities Expected to Attract Millennial Homebuyers in 2021

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This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.

The homeownership rate in America peaked at a little more than 69% in 2004 before falling to 63.7% in 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Despite the fact that it rebounded to a little more than 65% in 2019 overall, only 36.4% of Americans younger than 35 own their homes.

It may be easier in some places, though, for this younger cohort to buy homes. To that end, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the cities where people younger than the age of 35 are most likely to own their own home — and to see where this number has gone up in recent years.

To find the cities where more under-35 residents are buying homes, we compared the homeownership rate for this demographic in 2009 with the homeownership rate in 2019 for 200 of the largest U.S. cities. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section at the end.

1. Midland, TX

Midland, Texas skylineMidland, Texas skyline
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Midland, Texas, has seen a 10-year increase of 17.11 percentage points in the homeownership rate among people younger than 35, the largest growth seen in this study. The total homeownership rate for that age cohort in 2019 was 52.42%, the fourth-highest rate we found for that metric. Together, this makes Midland the top place where more young residents are buying homes.

2. Cape Coral, FL

Cape Coral FloridaCape Coral Florida
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The homeownership for younger Cape Coral, Florida, residents in 2019 was 55.54%, the third-highest rate in the study for this metric. That’s an increase of 8.71 percentage points compared with 2009, and the fourth-highest increase for this metric across all 200 cities we considered.

3. Joliet, IL

Joliet IllinoisJoliet Illinois
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Joliet, Illinois, located about 30 miles southwest of Chicago, had a homeownership rate of 63.48% for under-35 residents in 2019, the highest rate of all the cities we studied. Joliet ranks ninth for the 10-year change in homeownership, increasing 5.48 percentage points from its 2009 rate of 58.00%.

4. Mesquite, TX

Mesquite TexasMesquite Texas
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Mesquite, Texas, is part of the Dallas metro area, and in 2019 the homeownership rate there among residents younger than 35 was 45.46%, ranking it 11th in our study. But in 2009 the rate was just 35.47%, meaning the increase over 10 years was 9.99 percentage points, third-place for this metric.

5. Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, CaliforniaBakersfield, California
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Bakersfield, in central California, ranks 20th for homeownership rate among younger people in 2019, at 39.75%. That’s a 10.01 percentage point increase over the 10-year period from 2009 to 2019, the second-highest jump for this metric in the study.

6. Aurora, CO (tied)

Aurora ColoradoAurora Colorado
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Aurora, Colorado, ranks 15th for the 2019 homeownership rate among people younger than 35, at 42.28%. That is an increase of 5.29 percentage points from 2009, the 10th-largest jump we observed in the study.

6. Port St. Lucie, FL (tied)

Port St Lucie FloridaPort St Lucie Florida
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Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the fifth-highest homeownership rate among younger people in 2019, at 51.93%. It ranks 20th for its 2.70-point increase in that percentage from 2009.

8. Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert, ArizonaGilbert, Arizona
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Gilbert, Arizona, located near Phoenix, has the eighth-highest homeownership rate among residents younger than 35, at 50.08%. That was an increase of 2.69 percentage points since 2009, good enough for 21st place in that metric.

9. Fort Wayne, IN

Fort Wayne IndianaFort Wayne Indiana
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Fort Wayne, Indiana, ranked 17th in both of the metrics we measured for this study. The homeownership rate among those younger than 35 was 41.24% in 2019, a 3.32 percentage point increase over the previous 10 years.

10. Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Rancho Cucamonga CaliforniaRancho Cucamonga California
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The final city in the top 10 of this study is Rancho Cucamonga, California, which ranked 21st for under-35 homeownership in 2019, at 39.39%. That is a 3.77 percentage point jump since 2009, the 14th-biggest increase we observed across all 200 cities in the study.

Data and Methodology

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To find the cities where more young Americans are buying homes, SmartAsset examined data for 200 of the largest cities in the U.S. We considered two metrics:

  • 2019 homeownership rate for those under 35. This is the homeownership rate among 18- to 34-year-olds. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
  • 10-year change in the homeownership rate for those under 35. This compares the homeownership rate among 18- to 34-year-olds in 2009 with the rate in 2019. Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 and 2019 1-year American Community Surveys.

First, we ranked each city in both metrics. Then we found each city’s average ranking and used the average to determine a final score. The city with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.

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