Report: Grand Rapids among top cities for young homeowners

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According to Forbes, house prices have increased 26% over the past year, diminishing any hopes young people may have of getting onto the property ladder. Courtesy iStock

Young residents in Grand Rapids have a higher share of homeownership than most other cities in the U.S., according to a recent report.

In its ranking of the 200 largest cities in the U.S., Smart Asset placed Grand Rapids No. 11 for percentage of young homeownership.

Smart Asset ranked each city based on its under-35 homeownership rate in 2019 and the 10-year change — 2009-2019 — in the under-35 homeownership rate.

In Grand Rapids, 40.17% of residents ages 18 to 34 owned a home in 2019, compared to 37.19% in 2009. At the top of the list was Midland, Texas, with a young adult homeownership rate of 52.42% in 2019, a sharp change from just 35.31% in 2009.

Young homeownership has decreased overall since 2009, according to the study. While there are plenty of cities like Grand Rapids where homeownership among younger residents has increased, over the past decade the under-35 homeownership rate decreased by 3.71%, on average, across the 200 cities analyzed.

Under-35 homeownership still lags compared to that of older generations, particularly in large cities. Though some two-thirds of all Americans owned their homes in 2019, just one-fourth of residents younger than 35 did in the 200 cities analyzed.

Methodology

To find the cities where more young Americans are buying homes, SmartAsset examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 1-year American Community Surveys in 2009 and 2019.

Each city was ranked based on its 2019 homeownership rate and its 10-year change. SmartAsset then found each city’s average ranking and used the average to determine a final score. The city with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0. Grand Rapids received a score of 91.18.

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