News & Announcements

July 23, 2020

Millennial Home Ownership In Virginia

According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the national homeownership rate for all adult Americans is 63.9 percent. Millennials are notorious for lagging behind historic homeownership rates from previous generations at the same age. In fact, nationwide, Millennials have a homeownership rate of just 39.5 percent.

In Virginia, that rate is just a bit higher at 40.1 percent.

Front view portrait of a happy house owner playing with keys and looking at camera

What has this meant for home builders and realtors in larger markets like Richmond, Norfolk, and Roanoke? According to the Wall Street Journal, Millennials are fleeing large, more expensive cities for more affordable, smaller locales. Millennials helped boost urban growth after the Great Recession in 2008-mid 2009, but now older millennials and younger Gen Xers have left the cities and are moving to the small-medium towns across the state.

Cost of living, job availability, salary averages, delayed marriage, and delayed pregnancies are significant drivers in Millennials’ decisions to purchase a home. Porch, a marketplace for home services, looked at average incomes, home prices, and cost of living indexes to rank the top millennial homeownership markets in the U.S. Overall, they found that smaller metro areas with slightly higher average incomes and marginally lower average home prices were seeing upticks in Millennial home buying.

In Virginia, Richmond ranks 22 in the top 50 metro areas across the country for Millennial homeownership at 40.8 percent with a median home price of #242,519 and median earnings of $42,000. In Richmond, however, the cost of living is 3 percent higher than the national average.

The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News area comes in at 33 on the list with a 37 percent Millennial homeownership rate. Homes have a median price of $248,279, with average Millennial earnings of $40,000. The cost of living here is 3% lower than the national average.

According to, Roanoke is one of the 25 cities that Millennials can afford and want to live in. Coming in at number 12, Roanoke is noted for high affordability, economic health, and a high”Millennial happiness” ranking.

Other major considerations for Millennial homeownership, according to a 2018 USC study, include digital connectivity and plenty of millennial cohorts. Known as the “generation that lives online,” Millennials must have easy access to direct highspeed internet access and want to be surrounded by other Millennials. Having places to hang out with their friends after work hours, outdoor activities, and lots of coffee options round out the list of driving forces for where Millennials will settle and, eventually, own a home.