Forget San Francisco and New York — millennials prefer these 9 smaller cities with ‘extremely low home prices’ and robust local economies

Boise Idaho

  • High-earning millennials are flocking to smaller US cities to put down roots, according to a new Realtor.com report ranking the hottest ZIP codes in America.
  • Buyers are attracted to these markets largely because of their affordable home prices and proximity to big cities.
  • Midwestern cities dominate the list, including Grand Rapids, Michigan; Omaha, Nebraska; and Shawnee, Kansas.
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The hottest ZIP codes in America are teeming with millennial homebuyers

A new ranking from Realtor.com revealed the country’s up-and-coming metro areas, where job markets are strong and high-earning millennials are increasingly putting down roots.

“Even though buyers are moving to smaller markets, they are looking to retain an urban lifestyle by living closer to the city center,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “This tells us that today’s homebuyers are trying to have it all — proximity to downtown, room to grow, and affordability — and they’re finding it outside of the biggest cities in the US.”

To determine its ranking, Realtor.com gave every ZIP code in its database with at least 12 listings per month a “hotness score,” which was based on indicators of supply — median number of days on the market — and demand — number of listing views.

Realtor.com found that top ZIP codes are characterized by “extremely low home prices, developing local economies, and even larger populations of millennials.” Among the top 10 cities, the average home price is $272,000 and the income for residents is 6.5% higher, on average, than the US median.

The growing millennial footprint in these cities is evident, too. The generation accounts for nearly 40% of all new mortgages, on average.

Keep reading for the nine hottest ZIP codes of 2019, according to Realtor.com.

9. Goffstown, New Hampshire — ZIP code 03045

Median listing price: $325,050

Median income for millennials: $105,449

Millennial share of new mortgages: 43%

An hour and half drive from Boston sits Goffstown, New Hampshire, a historic New England town where millennials earn 40% more than the national median income.

8. Arlington, Texas — ZIP code 76018

Median listing price: $215,050

Median income for millennials: $64,023

Millennial share of new mortgages: 34%

Home prices in Arlington, Texas — which is a less than 25 minute drive from both Forth Worth and Dallas — have increased 7.5% year-over-year, with millennial buyers accounting for about one-third of new mortgages.

7. Melrose, Massachusetts — ZIP code 02176

Median listing price: $629,050

Median income for millennials: $98,803

Millennial share of new mortgages: 43%

A “quaint gas-lamp lined city” located just 10 miles outside of Boston, Melrose has the highest median listing price on this list, but owning a home is no stretch for millennials earning a median income close to six figures.

6. Livonia, Michigan — ZIP code 48154

Median listing price: $254,950

Median income for millennials: $96,855

Millennial share of new mortgages: 36%

Homes sell quick in the suburb of Livonia, Michigan, which shares attractions and employers with the Detroit metro area, spending an average of 17 days on the market. 

5. Rochester, New York — ZIP code 14609

Median listing price: $125,050

Median income for millennials: $44,438 

Millennial share of new mortgages: 43%

Home prices are up over 13% year-over-year in Rochester, New York, a highly walkable, picturesque city with the Genesee River running through its center. 

4. Shawnee, Kansas — ZIP code 66203

Median listing price: $220,050

Median income for millennials: $61,582

Millennial share of new mortgages: 43%

Located about 10 miles Southwest of Kansas City, Shawnee’s 66203 ZIP code is “a quintessential Midwestern suburb,” according to Realtor.com, complete with “an alluring downtown that houses museums, dining, shopping, and extensive nightlife.”

3. Boise, Idaho — ZIP code 83704

Median listing price: $289,950

Median income for millennials: $50,581

Millennial share of new mortgages: 28%

Appearing on Realtor.com’s hottest ZIP codes list for the second year in a row, Boise, Idaho, is still popular among priced-out Californians and buyers aged 35- to 44-years-old.

2. Omaha, Nebraska — ZIP code 68144

Median listing price: $238,950

Median income for millennials: $73,902

Millennial share of new mortgages: 43%

An Omaha suburb, ZIP code 68144 offers a “solid mix of both high-end and starter homes,” as well as access to a burgeoning downtown area and high-paying jobs, according to Realtor.com.

1. Grand Rapids, Michigan — ZIP code 49505

Median listing price: $178,050

Median income for millennials: $58,667

Millennial share of new mortgages: 48%

Homes in Grand Rapids’ 49505 ZIP code sell in just 10 days, on average. The median list price for homes in the suburb has risen more than 11% in the last year, but it’s still one of the lowest on this list.