Millennial Demand is Driving up Costs in Household-Pleasant Neighborhoods


  • Dwelling values in ZIP codes with the next share of kids youthful than 18 are rising quicker than house values elsewhere in the identical county, largely on account of demand from millennials searching for properties that meet the wants of their rising households. 
  • Extra millennials will attain the age of 32, the height age for first-time house patrons, over the following two years than ever earlier than.

Dwelling values are rising quickest in areas with the very best share of kids,1 reflecting the impression millennial home hunters are having on family-friendly neighborhoods with a scarcity of properties on the market. A report variety of millennials will attain key age milestones for getting properties over the following two years, which can speed up worth features even additional. 

The highest 10% of ZIP codes with the biggest share of kids in every county analyzed noticed a median of 21.3% development from October 2020 to October 2021, in comparison with 17.6% in ZIP codes with the smallest share of youngsters.2 That development began in 2013 – additionally the 12 months the oldest millennials turned 32. That’s the median age of first-time house patrons3 and one 12 months older than the median age of fathers with newborns.4

Zillow analyzed 421 U.S. counties,5 representing 71% of the nation’s inhabitants. ZIP codes with a bigger share of residents underneath 18 years previous6 are related to quicker house worth development in almost two-thirds of the counties studied. Most of the counties the place this relationship doesn’t maintain are trip locations, the place part-time residents have unconventional housing calls for. Dwelling worth development in these family-friendly areas started to outpace close by ZIP codes in 2013, and the correlation between youngsters and residential worth development has been almost excellent in yearly since 2017.

This impact is strongest in counties that embody the cities of Norfolk, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Seattle. Within the D.C. space, for instance, house worth development within the space’s most family-friendly ZIP codes approached or exceeded 15% between October 2020 and October 2021, whereas development in essentially the most adult-oriented ZIPs was non-existent or barely destructive throughout this era. The correlation between the ZIP codes’ share of residents youthful than 18 and HPA in DC is extraordinarily excessive, 0.92.

Counties the place this development doesn’t maintain true embody these encompassing Galveston, Texas; Santa Barbara, California; and Ocean Metropolis, New Jersey.

A Snowball, then an Avalanche

In 2013, that first wave of early-30s millennial house patrons had the advantage of discounted house costs in family-friendly ZIPs within the wake of the Nice Recession. Setting the index worth of all deciles to 100 in 2000 – a “regular” 12 months in housing that preceded the extraordinary swings of the housing increase, bust and restoration – we discover that properties in every decile appreciated at almost an identical charges between 2000 and 2006, simply previous to the housing crash. However throughout the crash, house values in essentially the most family-friendly ZIP decile slumped essentially the most. Following the crash and assisted by a swelling wave of house-hunting Millennials, house worth development in family-friendly ZIP codes then started to outpace their adult-oriented neighbors. Right this moment, after two topsy-turvy many years, annualized development charges since 2000 in all deciles have harmonized. 

Right this moment’s first-time house patrons are encountering a a lot completely different market, particularly as house worth development has reached report highs throughout the pandemic. And whereas general house worth development is prone to retreat considerably from these report highs, the competitors fueling a lot of that report development is unlikely to fade a lot because the snowball of millennials reaching peak age for first-time house patrons verges on changing into an avalanche. In 2021, there have been almost 200,000 extra 31 year-olds in the USA than 32 year-olds; 2022 will function the most important improve within the variety of house-hunting 32 year-olds because the transition from Era X to Millennials, and this inhabitants will rise a bit greater in 2023. This demographic actuality ought to gasoline even quicker worth development in family-friendly ZIP codes over at the least the following two years, making saving for a down cost much more difficult for first-time patrons.

Premiums & Reductions

This lengthy standing house worth appreciation benefit that owners in family-friendly neighborhoods have loved reveals no signal of waning – and could also be intensifying. For the reason that second quarter of 2017, the optimistic correlation between the share of inhabitants underneath 18 and residential worth development has been virtually excellent, higher than 0.95, each quarter, and all through 2021 this correlation remained exceptionally excessive. 

In the latest quarter (2021Q4), house sellers in essentially the most family-friendly decile loved a 1.6 share level “premium” in house worth development, whereas homebuyers in essentially the most adult-oriented decile obtained a 2.1 share level “low cost.”7 The distinction in HPA between the bottom and highest deciles is 3.7 share factors.

However six months in the past, this premium and low cost have been smaller, and the distinction in HPA between essentially the most family-friendly and adult-oriented deciles was solely 2.6 share factors. Extra Millennial house shopping for will trigger this distinction to widen even additional over the following a number of quarters. Although house values in family-friendly ZIP codes have now caught as much as their adult-orientated neighbors, owners in family-friendly neighborhoods will proceed to take pleasure in above-average appreciation as a result of these ZIP codes can command a premium.

Persevering with the Squeeze

As millennials go, so goes the housing market, and we’re seeing now, as millennials age, that they’re searching for properties that match the wants of rising households. Millennial demand has helped push up house costs in areas with essentially the most youngsters. Competitors for properties in these family-friendly areas ought to intensify within the coming years as extra millennials attain the important thing age of 32, including to the affordability squeeze.

Household-friendly neighborhoods will keep these greater valuations for a era as Millennials increase their youngsters and advance of their careers. Throughout this time, native municipalities can unfold the wealth by including family-friendly services akin to parks, playgrounds and faculties to ZIP codes that at the moment lack these facilities.


As a way to verify this nationwide tendency, we reviewed all 421 counties in our pattern. Although this represents only a small fraction of the greater than 3,100 counties within the U.S., 71% of People reside in one in every of these densely populated jurisdictions. We divided the ZIP codes for every of those counties into deciles based mostly on the ZIP code’s share of the inhabitants that was underneath 18 in 2019. The bottom decile, which is essentially the most adult-oriented, represents ZIPs the place this share was within the backside 10% of its county, the second-lowest decile measures the following 10%, and so forth. 

We then averaged the share of the inhabitants underneath 18 and HPA for every decile, no matter county. This system helps to manage for noticed and unobserved county-level results, which embody various state and municipal authorities tax and spending insurance policies, idiosyncratic traits of the native labor market, and meteorological, topographical or geographical variations. 



1 On common throughout essentially the most family-friendly ZIP decile, 29.5% of the inhabitants was youthful than 18 in 2019.
On common, the share of the inhabitants lower than 18 years previous in essentially the most adult-oriented decile was 14.4% in 2019.
Client Finance Safety Bureau:
4Human Copy, Quantity 32, Subject 10, October 2017, Pages 2110–2116:
5Each U.S. county with at the least 10 ZIP codes containing 1,000 households or extra was included within the examine. This threshold was imposed to make sure a adequate pattern of properties and ZIP codes in every county.
6Estimates of every ZIP code’s share of inhabitants underneath 18 years previous come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Group Survey five-year estimates.
7HPA in essentially the most family-friendly (tenth) decile is 1.6 share factors quicker than the typical charge, whereas HPA in essentially the most adult-oriented (first) decile is 2.1 share factors slower.


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