The National Association of Realtors has ranked Grand Rapids among the best places in the nation for millennials to invest in their first home. The research analyzed current housing conditions, job creation, and population trends to determine the best markets for aspiring homebuyers. 7 of the 10 areas recognized by the NAR are in the West and Midwest.

“Limited job prospects, student debt and flat wage growth have combined with tight credit conditions and low inventory to price millennials out of some of the top cities such as New York and San Francisco,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “However, NAR research finds that there are other metro areas millennials are moving to where job growth is strong and homeownership is more attainable. These markets are well-positioned to soon experience a rise in first-time buyers as the economy improves.”

The best purchase markets for aspiring Millennial homebuyers are (listed alphabetically):


  • Austin, Texas
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Minneapolis
  • New Orleans
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Salt Lake City
  • Seattle

First-time homebuyers have been largely absent from the housing market in the current economic recovery, but these areas are well positioned to see increases in home-buying from the millennial generation in upcoming years. NAR President Steve Brown, says favorable affordability in these markets will ultimately be met with inevitable life milestones to increase activity.

“Millennials will eventually settle down, trade their roommates for spouses and want to raise a family,” he says. “As long as median income continues to support purchasing power in most areas, the demand and opportunity will be there for Millennials to purchase their first home.”