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Millennials are entering their prime home-buying years

Americans are fleeing big cities as the COVID-19 pandemic sparks a newfound appreciation for socially-distanced space in the suburbs.

The mass migration has created an opportunity for millennials and other first-time home-buyers, in particular, to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and work-from-home opportunities, as long as they can outbid their peers in the urban diaspora.

However, record-low mortgage rates mean the average monthly payment for a medium-sized home has fallen 7.36 percent nonetheless — to $1,007 in May, down from $1,087 the year prior.

There is still “pent-up demand” from millennials who have been saving up since the end of the Great Recession, Howard noted, and being “cooped up in an apartment” during the pandemic has given them an incentive to explore their options.

While the competitive market has proved challenging for buyers trying to select the right home from a limited supply, it has provided a rare opportunity for millennials to move from city centers to places with “more inventory choices at more affordable prices,” Yun said.

The metro areas of Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix give buyers the opportunity to live closer to urban centers and still pay prices within their means, according to research released last month by the National Association of Realtors. Other metro areas, including Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Omaha, offer less of a big city feel at even more affordable prices.

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