For Millennial Buyers, Home is in the Heartland

As housing prices continue to rise, more millennial homebuyers eye cities in the American heartland where prices remain relatively more affordable, according to the October Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker.

Minneapolis topped Ellie Mae's list as the most popular metropolitan area for homes purchased by millennials (44 percent), followed closely by Philadelphia (43 percent), St. Louis (42 percent), Chicago (40 percent) and Detroit (40 percent).

Two states, Florida and California, laid claim to the least popular cities for this new generation of homeowners: Miami (27 percent), Los Angeles (29 percent), San Francisco (30 percent), San Diego (30 percent) and Tampa-St. Petersburg (30 percent).

Snapshot of the typical millennial buyer

  • Slightly more than half were single (51 percent) while 49 percent were married
  • The average age was 28.7 years old
  • Men were more likely to be listed as the primary borrower (64 percent) than women (33 percent)
  • The average FICO score for was 722
  • Millennials opted to take out conventional loans (57 percent) more than FHA (40 percent), VA (1 percent) or unspecified financing options (1 percent)
  • The average loan amount for purchases was $182,498

"As housing prices continue to rebound, millennials are increasingly representing a higher percentage of homeowners in the middle of the country, where they can get more home for their money," says Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. "The average appraised value of homes purchased by this new generation of buyers was $223,153 in October – a modest increase from $221,383 in September, but nearly a five percent increase from when it was $212,939 in June."