MILLENNIALS MOVING TO MARKETS WITH JOBS, BABY BOOMERS DOWNSIZING TO LOWER-COST MARKETS

Top Markets for Boomers Include Wilmington, NC, Punta Gorda, FL and Phoenix, AZ;
 Millennials Migrating to Washington DC, New Orleans, LA and San Francisco, CA

RealtyTrac analyzed Census population data between 2007 and 2013 in more than 1,800 counties nationwide to discover which markets are seeing the biggest shifts in both baby boomer and millennial populations, overlaying that data with information on median prices, price appreciation and rental rates to create a heat map of their migration patterns. The analysis further focused in on the top 10 counties for increases and decreases in both millennials and baby boomers.

“The millennial generation is the key to a sustained real estate recovery and boomers who are downsizing are helping open the door for many first time homebuyers while also driving demand for purchases and rentals in the markets where they are moving,” said Daren Blomquist, Vice President of RealtyTrac. “Naturally, millennials are attracted to markets with good job prospects and low unemployment but that tend to have high rental rates and high home price appreciation, while boomers are moving to lower populated areas which have slower home price appreciation.”

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Millennials are moving to places with more opportunities to find jobs
The millennial generation is generally moving from lower-priced to higher-priced markets for both buying and renting, with the tradeoff being more jobs (lower unemployment) and higher median incomes in the markets they are moving to. The top two counties for percentage increase in millennials between 2007 and 2013 were in the DC metro area — Arlington County, Va., which saw an increase of millennials of 82 percent and Alexandria City, Va., which saw and increase of 81 percent. Not surprisingly both counties have a favorable unemployment rate of 3.2 percent and 3.6 percent respectively, well below the national average. Orleans Parish, La., in the New Orleans metro area, was third on the list with an increase of 71 percent and San Francisco County, Calif., where high home appreciation hasn’t scared millennials from moving to, was fourth on the list with an increase of 68 percent. Rounding out the top five was Denver County, Colo., which saw an increase of 57 percent in its millennial population between 2007 and 2013.

Other counties among the top 10 for biggest percentage increase in millennial population between 2007 and 2013 were Montgomery County, Tenn., (46 percent increase), Hudson County, N.J., (44 percent increase), New York County, N.Y., (43 percent increase), and Multnomah County, Ore. (41 percent increase).

Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10 counties with the biggest percentage increase in millennial population between 2007 and 2013:

  • Average household income: $62,496
  •  

  • Average population: 587,522
  •  

  • Median home price: $406,800
  •  

  • Average annual home price appreciation: 4.3 percent
  •  

  • Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,619
  •  

  • Average gross yield on rental: 6.2 percent
  •  

  • Average unemployment rate: 5.2 percent
Top Markets Where Millennials Are Moving

Baby Boomers are moving to lower-priced markets
The baby boomer generation is generally moving from higher-priced to lower-priced markets for both buying and renting, with the tradeoff being lower median household incomes and slower home price appreciation. The top markets with the biggest percentage increase in baby boomers between 2007 and 2013 were Brunswick County, N.C. in the Wilmington metro area where the median home price was well below the national average at $115,000 but had an increase of boomers of 50 percent. Following closely was Pinal County, Ariz., in the Phoenix metro area up 41 percent, Charlotte County, Fla., in the Punta Gorda metro area up 34 percent and Beaufort County, S.C. in the Hilton Head metro area up 34 percent. Rounding out the top five was Sussex County, Del., where the millennial population increased 31 percent between 2007 and 2013.

Other counties among the top 10 for biggest percentage increase in baby boomer population between 2007 and 2013 were Orleans Parish, La., (30 percent increase), Citrus County, Fla., (28 percent increase), Lee County, Fla., (28 percent increase), Yavapai County, Ariz., (27 percent increase), and Lake County, Fla., (27 percent increase).

“Boomers are recovering from a recession that wiped out much of the equity in both the stock and housing markets,” said Chris Pollinger, senior vice president of sales at First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California market.  “We are seeing many boomers cash out as they regain the equity that was lost in the last downturn.”

Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10 counties with the biggest percentage increase in baby boomer population between 2007 and 2013:

  • Average household income: $46,268
  •  

  • Average population: 261,232
  •  

  • Median home price: $144,875
  •  

  • Average annual home price appreciation: 4.3 percent
  •  

  • Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,182
  •  

  • Average gross yield on rental: 10.7 percent
  •  

  • Average unemployment rate: 5.8 percent
Top Markets Where Baby Boomers Are Moving

Millennials are moving away from areas with small populations
Millennials are moving away from counties with a smaller population (average 178,277) to counties with a larger population (average 587,522).  Top markets losing millennials between 2007 and 2013 were Fayette County, Ga., in the Atlanta metro area, which saw a 31 percent decrease in the millennial population. Trailing closely behind was Citrus County, Fla., in the Homosassa Springs metro area with a decrease of 27 percent, El Dorado County, Calif., in the Sacramento metro area with a decrease of 25 percent, Yavapai County, Ariz., in the Prescott metro area with a decrease of 23 percent, and St. Clair County in the Detroit metro area with a decrease of 22 percent.

Other counties in the top 10 for the biggest percentage decrease in millennial population between 2007 and 2013 were Livingston County, Mich., (20 percent decrease), DeKalb County, Ill., (20 percent decrease), Monroe County, Mich., (19 percent decrease), Monroe County, Pa., (19 percent decrease), and Orange County, N.Y. (18 percent decrease).

Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10 counties with the biggest percentage decrease in millennial population between 2007 and 2013:

  • Average household income: $57,656
  •  

  • Average population: 178,277
  •  

  • Median home price: $151,165
  •  

  • Average annual home price appreciation: 8.6 percent
  •  

  • Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,243
  •  

  • Average gross yield on rental: 11.4 percent
  •  

  • Average unemployment rate: 6.9 percent
Top Markets Where Millennials Are Leaving

Baby boomers are leaving densely populated areas
Baby boomers are moving from counties with a larger population (average 809,464) to counties with a smaller population (261,232). Four of the top 10 counties losing baby boomers were in the Atlanta metro area, Fulton County, Ga., (22 percent decrease), DeKalb County, Ga., (21 percent decrease), Clayton County, Ga., (16 percent decrease) and Cobb County, Ga. (14 percent decrease). Two of the top 10 counties where baby boomers are leaving are in the DC metro area – Arlington County, Va., (21 percent decrease) and Alexandria City, Va., (-15 percent).

Other counties in the top 10 for the biggest percentage decrease in baby boomer population between 2007 and 2013 were Wayne County, Mich., (17 percent decrease), Milwaukee County, Wis., (14 percent decrease), New York County, N.Y., (14 percent decrease), and Hamilton County, Ohio, (13 percent decrease).

Trends in population evident within metropolitan areas
The above population trends are also evident within the same metropolitan area, with millennials moving from lower-populated counties to higher-populated counties within the same metro, and baby boomers doing the opposite or moving out of the area entirely. Prime examples of this include Washington, D.C., Denver, New York and Portland.

Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10 counties with the biggest percentage decrease in baby boomer population between 2007 and 2013:

  • Average household income: $59,280
  •  

  • Average population: 809,464
  •  

  • Median home price: $260,521
  •  

  • Average annual home price appreciation: 11.7 percent
  •  

  • Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,371
  •  

  • Average gross yield on rental: 12.0 percent
  •  

  • Average unemployment rate: 6.2 percent
Top Markets Where Baby Boomers Are Leaving

Slideshow: Markets Where Millennials Are Moving

Millennial MarketsArlington County, VA: 1961 home for sale! 4 bed, 3 bath and located close to the city…a commuters dream! Listed at $499,000.cameramake Cornerstoneheight 512camerasoftware Cornerstone Image Seoriginaldate 7/9/2014 10:08:35 PMwidth 768cameramodel Image Service 0.4.21Alexandria City County, VA: With high ceilings and incredible panoramic views, this luxury single bedroom condo is listed for $425,000.cameramake Cornerstoneheight 512camerasoftware Cornerstone Image Seoriginaldate 6/26/2014 10:39:08 AMwidth 768cameramodel Image Service 0.4.21San Francisco County, CA: In San Francisco, condos are the way to go! This 2 bed, 2 bath top floor condo is listed for $929,000 and located in the center of the city.height 512width 767originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMDenver County, CO: Recently listed for sale, this spacious 5 bed, 4 bath family home in Denver, CO is listed for $259,000height 480width 640originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM

Slideshow: Markets Where Baby Boomers Are Moving
Baby BoomersBrunswick County, NC: Built in 2006, this 3 bed, 2 bath single-level home is listed for $115,000.height 511width 767originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMPinal County, AZ: This move-in ready 3 bed, 2.5 bath house features a gourmet kitchen and 9-ft. ceilings. Listed for $130,000.height 768width 1156originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMCharlotte County, FL: Located in a quiet neighborhood on a double lot, this 3 bed, 2 bath home is listed for $122,000.height 222width 296originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMBeaufort County,SC: Newly remodeled with a large bonus room, this 3 bed, 2 bath single-family residence is listed for just $229,000.height 336width 447originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMSussex County, DE: Sitting on 7 acres of woodland, this 3 bed, 2.5 bath home is listed for $206,000.height 218width 290originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMMethodology
RealtyTrac analyzed Census population data between 2007 and 2013 in more than 1,800 counties nationwide, overlaying that data with information on median prices, price appreciation and rental rates to create the heat map. The analysis further focused in the top 10 counties for increases and decreases in both millennials and baby boomers.

The baby boomer generation is defined as someone who was born between the years of 1945 to 1964. In 2013, baby boomers would be between the ages of 49 to 68. Census estimates for 2013 were used for this report. The census data is broken up by age group so in 2013 the nearest census age groups for baby boomers would be between 50 to 54 years, 55 to 59 years, 60-64 years, and 65-69 years.  In order to more precisely breakdown these four year groups to only include baby boomers we assumed that each age had an equal number of people.

The millennial generation is defined as someone who was born between the years 1977 to 1992. In 2013, millennials would be between the ages of 21 to 36. Census estimates for 2013 were used for this report. The census data is broken up by age group so in 2013 the nearest census age groups for millennials would be between 20 to 24 years, 25 to 29 years, 30-34 years, and 35-39 years.  In order to more precisely break down these four year groups to only include millennials we assumed that each age had an equal number of people.

Annual median household income data came from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2000 to 2012. Rental data came from the annual Fair Market Rent Report (FMR) published by HUD. Only counties that have HUD FMR data were analyzed in this study. In most states, the median price was derived from sales deeds recorded at the county level. In some states known as non-disclosure states  (AK, ID, IN, KS, LA, ME, MS, MO, MT, NM, ND, TX, UT, WY) where the median price is not consistently available from the sales deed, median list prices were used.


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