Cincinnati’s fun, affordable environment makes it a top destination for millennial homebuyers

Cincinnati is one of the top cities for millennials looking to buy a home, according to a new measurement created by a national real estate firm.

Clever Real Estate developed its “Millennial Metric” to help identify cities that offer a balance between fun and affordability for young home buyers with limited means and high expectations.

Cincinnati ranked tenth on the list of the nation’s 100 most populated cities.

“Fun, affordable cities like Cincinnati help keep the American Dream alive for young home buyers,” says Tommy O’Shaughnessy, head of research for Clever Real Estate.

The firm ranked the cities on four key metrics: job opportunity, home affordability, livability, and housing market forecast.

Its job opportunity metric measured income, wage growth, and unemployment. The home affordability metric measured home values and price-to-income ratios. “Livability” is a measure of multiple factors, including commute times, crime rates, and education levels, and the housing market forecast predicted how home values will appreciate over the next 12 months.

“Livability” and “home affordability” were given more weight than “job opportunity” and “housing market forecast” to prioritize places that are both affordable and fun to live in, the company says.

The top ten cities were: Rochester, N.Y.; Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Neb.; Dayton, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Akron, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.; and Cincinnati.

The study found that large coastal cities like San Francisco and New York offer strong job markets and lively streets to explore, but affordability concerns make them poor choices for those looking to put at least 20 percent down on a home. While lower down payment options exist, millennials will find much higher monthly premiums, PMI, and other expenses that can make homeownership tough, it found.

Inland cities such as Cincinnati offer affordable housing opportunities, strong job markets, and plenty of culture and entertainment.

Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.
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