Credit Karma, the credit reporting site, has an interesting new look at Millennials and the housing market, including a list of the 10 "most affordable" cities in which to buy. Researchers compared average age-specific income levels in each city and the average mortgage balance to determine how long it would take to pay off the loan. Additionally, they discounted the average Millennial salary in each location by the city's unemployment rate to include a rough look at how particular local economic affect decisions.
The results showed a clear bias towards the Midwest and several "Rustbelt" cities. Nine of out of 10 are located east of the Mississippi, and only two are found east of the Ohio River. As prices have soared west of the Rockies, making it more challenging for Millennials to find that starter home, good deals abound in many historically industrial states and cities. Indeed, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed that first-time homebuyers are still struggling to gain traction: just 32% of all purchases in the latest report were first-timers, the lowest level in almost 30 years.
As for those affordable locations for Millennials, here is the top 10, ranked by how quickly the average Millennial can pay off the average mortgage:
1. Buffalo, NY, 107.4 months (paid off in under nine years!)
2. Detroit, MI, 110.5 months
3. Cleveland, OH, 117.2 months
4. Toledo, OH, 123.2 months
5. Pittsburgh, PA, 143.8 months
6. Garland, TX, 144.6 months
7. Fort Wayne, IN, 146.3 months
8. Indianapolis, IN, 149.4 months
9. Memphis, TN, 152.7 months
10. Milwaukee, WI, 153.6 months