• A LendingTree analysis reviewed who is taking out mortgages, and for how much.
  • Millennials are taking the plunge most often in Boston, Pittsburgh and DC.
  • San Francisco millennials are also buying at a good clip, and are plunking down the most.

Young homebuyers are finally testing the waters of homeownership.

A study recently conducted by online loan marketplace LendingTree showed that the millennial demographic is looking more toward a few big, established cities for that big rite of passage.

When examining the nation’s top 50 cities, the LendingTree analysis found that millennials in Boston, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. pursue home ownership more than their counterparts anywhere else. The city ranking is created from the percentage of all purchase mortgage requests that were submitted by consumers in the millennial generation.

Differences between the 3 metros

Interestingly, Boston and DC millennial buyers took out mortgages that were above the national average for what a millennial will borrow, while Pittsburgh loans were far less.

These increasingly eager young buyers represent what could be the forefront of a growing nationwide trend of young buyers returning to the housing market.

The company looked at mortgage requests from young consumers, which they categorized as 34 years and under, in the past 12 months. They stacked those up alongside requests from the total population of mortgage-seekers based on the location of the property to be mortgaged.

Boston came out on top. In that city, 52.5 percent of the mortgage requests reviewed came from millennials. Pittsburgh came next, at just a hair under 49 percent, followed closely by Washington, D.C., at 48.17 percent.

San Francisco showing strong; millennial market ‘starting to shift’

San Francisco also saw a high percentage of mortgage requests coming from millennials. Those buyers had the distinction of taking out the highest average mortgages in the nation, at $505,160. In the Bay Area, 42.32 percent of the loan requests came from the millennial crowd.

On the whole, 41.36 percent of all mortgage requests through LendingTree come from applicants under 35 years old. Mortgage loans from all millennials average $220,949.

Average mortgage loans to young borrowers in the top three cities of Boston, Pittsburgh and DC are $343,783, $161,083 and $352,720 respectively.

“The under-35 crowd had been, for some years, hesitant to enter the housing market, but we’re seeing that start to shift,” said Doug Lebda, CEO of LendingTree, in statement.

“The data all points to the fact that millennials are increasingly eager to own rather than rent, and even the incredibly high real estate prices in some markets don’t necessarily deter them.”

Rank City  percentage of



from  <35


Avg Credit

Score (<35


Avg Age

of buyer

(35 Yrs)

Avg Down

Pmt (<35


Avg Loan Amt

(<35 Yrs)



Pmt (<35


1 Boston MA 52.46 727 28 $56,947 $343,783 $1,912
2 Pittsburgh PA 48.96 718 29 $21,787 $161,083 $930
3 Washington DC 48.17 739 30 $69,349 $352,720 $2,014
4 Des Moines IA 48.15 708 29 $17,669 $136,277 $786
5 Minneapolis MN 47.34 715 29 $28,653 $198,834 $1,140
6 Columbus OH 45.57 717 29 $26,236 $170,434 $973
7 Chicago IL 45.48 731 30 $44,597 $259,863 $1,477
8 Milwaukee WI 45.12 714 29 $22,502 $166,315 $957
9 Omaha NE 44.64 710 28 $21,381 $184,037 $1,027
10 Rochester NY 44.51 718 30 $24,590 $137,213 $789

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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