Buffalo ranks high on LendingTree’s new list of cities popular among millennial homebuyers.
This is despite nationwide trends that suggest younger adults aren’t buying houses or can’t afford them.
Michael Boland, a licensed real estate salesperson with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, says about 40 percent of his clients are millennials. That’s right on par with LendingTree’s report, which shows 46 percent of 2018 mortgage purchase requests in Buffalo were from adults under the age of 35.
So how is Buffalo getting the millennial boost when the national narrative suggests people in that age group aren’t buying houses? Boland says Buffalo is affordable and is quickly catching up with everything today’s young adults consider important in where they live.
“It’s also a walkable city, which is great. If you look at what’s going on with the bike paths being developed and the waterfront, it all makes for a desirable place to live,” Boland said.
LendingTree ranked Buffalo #4 on its list of the 50 largest metro millennial homebuying cities. The mortgage company says the average down payment on a house in the Queen City is just over $19,000 dollars, the 8th lowest average on that same list.
Still – that upfront sum isn’t chump change for millennials, many of whom have more debt and a tougher time saving than their parents.
“The challenge is usually the initial cost of buying a home. Because included in the down payment, you’re pre-paying your taxes for a year, you have a bank origination fee,” Boland said. “So sometimes people – millennials, first time home buyers – they’re surprised at the initial cost of buying a house.”
Then there’s the daunting new Census report, which suggests New York lost more residents than any other state last year. Yet in Buffalo, it’s a sellers market right now.
“Our taxes are higher than a lot of other states, but also there are a lot of advantages too. Not all cities are on a waterfront, not all cities are on an international border. I do think people are leaving New York because of the taxes, but I think it’s a different age bracket. I think maybe it’s more retirees who’ve got the option to easily pick up and move,” Boland said.
LendingTree says the average age of millennial homebuyers in Buffalo is 28 and that they’re typically requesting about $127,000 dollars for a loan.