Knock, a digital homeownership platform, today released its ranking of the best housing markets by generation in 2022. Austin, Texas, ranks No. 1 for Millennials, while Miami is the best market for Gen X, and Pittsburgh tops the list for Baby Boomers. Austin and Knoxville, Tennessee, are the only metros to make two lists.
Sean Black, co-founder and CEO of Knock said, “Although we do expect the housing market to moderate in 2022, home buyers will continue to face many of the same challenges they did last year. Rising interest rates will offset any relief buyers get from slowing home price growth.”
He added, “The good news is the rise in remote work has given many people the freedom to rethink where they want to live, opening up options for those willing to explore new cities that offer relative affordability, growing economies and access to the amenities important to them.”
To compile the list of top markets, Knock ranked the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on affordability, the availability of housing stock and key attributes important at each stage of life.
The analysis takes into account Knock’s 2022 housing forecast, which expects the national median sale price to grow 8% to $399,484 year-over-year, homes to sell in an average of 20 days down from 22 in 2021 and months of supply to fall 11% to 2.1, well below the average of four to five months in a balanced market.
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With six of the top 10 Millennial markets in the South and two each in North Carolina and Texas, the top 10 Millennial markets in ranking order are Austin, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Charleston, South Carolina; San Antonio; Atlanta; Providence, Rhode Island; St. Louis; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Spokane, Washington.
More geographically diverse than the best markets for its younger and older counterparts, the top 10 markets for Gen X in ranking order are Miami; Austin, Texas; Knoxville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Omaha; Raleigh, North Carolina; Phoenix; Salt Lake City and Boston.
Although it’s not surprising that eight out of the top 10 Baby Boomer markets are in warm weather locations, the fact that the top two are cold weather metros might be. The best markets for Baby Boomers in ranking order are Pittsburgh; Lansing, Michigan; Knoxville, Tennessee; New Orleans; Birmingham, Alabama; Augusta, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; Palm Bay, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida and Tucson, Arizona.
The best Millennial markets offer affordability, strong job markets and vibrant downtowns. The largest contingent of home buyers, the Millennial generation spans 15 years, with the youngest 25 years old and the oldest having celebrated their 40th birthday in 2021.
Migration trends show that as Millennials grapple with affordability amid soaring home prices, many have spread their wings to smaller metros for a shot at homeownership. When compared to the 100 largest metros, the 2022 top Millennial markets are 11% more affordable and offer 19% more homes for sale on average.
In these metros, Millennials make up 20% to 25% of the population on average. They also attract an average of 90% more inbound Millennials year over year than the largest 100 metros and have 1.17 times the national average concentration of jobs in the tech, finance and health industries.
Gen X markets provide career opportunities and family-friendly attributes at a cost. Aged 41 to 56, Gen Xers are statistically at the top of their careers and most likely to have school-aged children. The best markets for Generation X tend to skew pricier, but still offer relative affordability, available inventory, space without sacrificing career opportunities, good schools, an abundance of green space and family-friendly activities.
In 2021, the median home in the best Gen X markets was 17% more expensive than the median-priced home, but offered relative affordability compared with New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Homes in these markets offer 150 more square feet than the national average. These markets offer a strong job market with a diverse employer base, 1.2 times more managerial positions than the national average and a larger than average number of highly ranked school systems.
Top Baby Boomer markets are prime spots for those looking to shift their lifestyle. Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, have handed in their resignations in record numbers since the start of the pandemic, providing the freedom to cash in on the equity they’ve amassed in their homes.
The Boomer markets on this year’s list offer retirees affordability and tax-friendly advantages that allow them to stretch their dollars further as well as access to good health care, strong diverse economies with part-time employment opportunities, culture and recreational activities.
Nine of the 10 metros are college towns, affording the opportunity for Boomers to continue their education. On average, residents pay 75% less in sales, property and inheritance taxes than the national average. They also have access to 35% more primary care physicians per 100,000 residents than the nation’s 100 largest metros and thousands of active adult communities.