Looking to move to a new city? In a new report, LendingTree ranked the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas according to the average age of homeowners. This can be important for a few reasons. First, if you are contemplating a move, you might want to focus on places where you are likely to be able to make friends in your general age range. Beyond that, there are some other considerations, per the research:
- Big cities have fewer young homeowners. The average homeowner age across the top metro areas was 55 years old, and no metro area had an average homeowner age of under 50. That’s not so surprising, considering that younger people today tend to be saddled with debt, particularly student loans, and face other obstacles like poor credit rating that make homeownership more challenging.
- Retirees are in some expected places. It’s probably not a surprise that towns in Florida top the list of older homeowners, claiming the first and second “oldest homeowner” spots.
- Where younger-than-average homeowners cluster, home prices tend to increase. While calculating the correlations is a complicated relationship, increases in home-owner age tend to stagnate home price growth (as well as wages) over the long-term.
- Median home prices in a city don’t seem to affect the age of the average homeowner. That is, young home buyers don’t appear to be flocking to areas with the lowest home prices. Some of the towns with the youngest populations have higher average home prices than those with the oldest.
The cities with the oldest homeowners:
This city is an interesting contrast: There’s the trendy South Beach area, with clubs and a party atmosphere, and the Wynwood District, with breweries and funky art galleries, that tend to attract a younger crowd—little wonder Miami is the city featuring the most Instagrammed hotel in America, after Las Vegas. But the homeowner population overall skews quite a bit older, with an average age of 58.7 years old. The tropical climate is surely one factor. The city also boasts lots of cultural attractions and easy access to the Caribbean and other popular travel hotspots. It has the highest median home value, $298,800, for the oldest cities.
On the other side of the Sunshine State, Tampa is also home to plenty of younger folks—the average age of the population is 41.9—and is one of the most inexpensive U.S. cities to visit, making it a popular summer break spot. But homeowners are older, at average age 58.3. The city appeals to snowbirds and others who prefer the Gulf Coast climate and tends to be a bit more laid-back than Miami. Plus, home prices are lowest on the list with a median home value of $210,000.
This coastal hotspot has an average homeowner age of just over 57 years old. Surely the climate and natural beauty get a lot of the credit. It is a wonderland for those who love sailing or enjoy the great outdoors. With an average temperature of 50 degrees in winter and 76 degrees in summer, San Diego is one of the U.S. cities where the beaches are as beautiful in fall as in summer, an attraction for many.
With a diverse population and range of industries, L.A. appears to have something for everyone. Certainly crowds and notorious traffic do not seem to deter the many people who flock to live here. The city has an average homeowner age of 57.1 years old.
New York City
New York City is truly a city of many personalities. The five boroughs offer every type of neighborhood you can imagine, and there are more cultural attractions than you can count. But the high cost of living is notorious. The Big Apple tops the list of most expensive U.S. cities to live in. Not so surprising then that the average age of homeowners is 56.9 years old.
The cities with the youngest homeowners:
Salt Lake City
With a comparatively young average homeowner age of 51.8 years, this capital city of Utah appeals to younger people who like wide-open spaces and a relatively temperate climate. It’s also relatively affordable, with a lower cost of living than many large cities. The median home value here is $304,500. It’s one of the most underrated American cities worth a visit.
Known for its innovative culture and artistic vibe, Austin is near the top of the list for young home buyers. The average homeowner in the capital of Texas is 52.4 years old, and perhaps drawn to the city by its thriving music scene and landscape that offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Though it has a growing technology industry, it is far more affordable than other tech hot spots like Silicon Valley. The median home value here is just under $330,000. Austin is also considered one of the healthiest U.S. cities—find out which others made the cut.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh offers a lot of great things that appeal to younger residents: for one, it’s home to a grand total of 12 major universities, including North Carolina State University. The climate is moderate, offering a bit of all four season. Raleigh is the most expensive of the “youngest” cities with the median home costing just over $420,000, but its friendly, small-town feel makes it a popular choice. Just one of the reasons why it makes Reader’s Digest list of Nicest places in America.
With an average homeowner age of just above 53 years old, Minneapolis—coupled with the other half of the “Twin Cities” pair, St. Paul—offers a little bit of everything: culture, diversity, and a variety of industries. It also has a lower cost of living than many big cities, with median home value under $400,00. It may not offer the toasty climate of some of the other “youngest city” locales, but it does have lots of great outdoor scenery to enjoy. It also boasts one of the best major U.S. airports.
The Mile-High City’s appeal is obvious to the outdoorsy crowd, which might explain why Denver’s average homeowner age is just 53.2 years old. Those who love hiking, biking, camping or a host of other outdoor sports will probably consider this city to be their idea of heaven.
Read on to learn the 15 questions everyone should ask before buying a home.