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Millennials Moving More Frequently Than Earlier Generations

Phil Hall
Oct 03, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/Sam Edwards

When it comes to putting down residential roots, Millennials are more peripatetic than previous generations, according to new data from Zillow.
In 1960, 33.8 people of people between 25- and 34-years-old had lived in their home for less than two years. By 2017, however, that share increased to 45.3 percent. The reasons for Millennials moving so frequent are varied: a typical employed Millennial has been with their current employer for 2.8 years, so being close to the workplace is a factor. Others are marrying and/or beginning a family and wish to reside in larger accommodations.
But 53.5 percent of these young adults who move stay within the same metro area. Among the 35 largest metros in the U.S., the greatest increases in the share of young adults that had recently moved were in Boston (up 22 percentage points since 1960), Pittsburgh (up 20.9), Detroit (up 17.7) and Philadelphia (up 17.4). This share of recently moved young adults has fallen since 1960 in four metros: Las Vegas (down 6.7 percentage points), Riverside (down 6.3), San Diego (down 3.8) and Orlando (down 1.3).
“Shifting demographic headwinds and evolving workplace norms have significantly altered the housing decisions of young adults today,” said Sarah Mikhitarian, senior economist at Zillow. “Untethered from family and enticed by new job opportunities, young adults are more mobile today than they have been over the past nearly 60 years. Instead of getting married or starting a family in their early to mid-twenties as was the norm in past decades, many are waiting until they are established in their careers. And the typical career trajectory has fundamentally changed since the 1960s as well–rather than climbing a corporate ladder, many are choosing to hop from one role or function to the next, often requiring a move to a new location.”
Ellie Mae reported that refi activity among Millennials reached its highest level in nearly four years in August, accounting for 25 percent of all closed loans for Millennials, up two percent from July.

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