Zoomers Snub Expensive Metros To Save Money

Older Zoomers are entering the housing market, and they’re focused on affordable metros where they can save money.

LendingTree analyzed mortgage purchase requests from users in this demographic across the nation’s 50 largest metros from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022, to determine the metros they prefer. 

The answer? Relatively inexpensive cities in the South and West.

Salt Lake City had the most interest from Zoomers, with 22.59% of this demographic’s mortgage requests. LendingTree notes that Salt Lake isn’t as affordable as other cities on its but boasts a strong job market and a blend of urban amenities and outdoor recreation.

It’s also experiencing massive home price depreciation. Prices soared during the pandemic as many Americans moved West. Now, like other boomtowns that saw migration trickle out when interest rates rose, Salt Lake is seeing record declines. Prices are down 11% YOY, with average savings of $60,000, according to Redfin data.

Oklahoma City and Birmingham, AL, took second and third place at 22.36% and 20.79% of mortgage requests, respectively. Both are affordable by nationwide standards.

At the same time, this cohort is snubbing expensive cities like San Francisco, New York, and San Jose, which saw the smallest percentage of mortgage requests. 

Among people aged 21 to 64 with college degrees, these cities have experienced population declines. They’re also the only generation to be moving out of Florida, where prices have consistently risen, while every other cohort is moving in.

Young movers say they prefer metros within their limited budgets where they can spend their extra cash on experiences and events.

But LendingTree notes that as more Zoomers reach prime homebuying age, these traditionally popular metros will get more attention.