Younger Americans live where it's cheap and older ones live where it's relaxing.

Recent research reinforces something we’ve heard before: most millennials aren’t buying homes. At least not enough to lower the average homeowner’s age throughout the 100 largest cities in America. How old is that? Fifty-four and the youngest are 42, according to a study from loan marketplace LendingTree.

Another confirmation is where different generations are attracted to. The cities with the youngest homeowners are in more hip areas like Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, all of the older ones flock to cities down in sunny South Florida.

Youngest homeowners

Provo, Utah

The third largest city in Utah provides plenty of space for young homeowners. Residents of Provo, Utah entertain themselves with hiking, rafting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Although the numbers are low, there are plenty of millennials living in the city. Twenty percent of homeowners are younger than 35, and the average renter is 30.

  • Homeowners: 47.3
  • Renters: 30.6

Debt.com has previously reported that Provo, Utah is the city where people are most likely to pay their bills on time.

Ogden, Utah

In 2014, CNN called Ogden, Utah one of the 10 “best cities for millennial homeowners.” But the average age of homeowners is among Generation X. Renters fit the oldest age bracket of millennials. The city has a population of 85,000 – and the average homeowner is middle-aged.

  • Homeowners: 49.4
  • Renters: 37.2

Salt Lake City, Utah

The average homeowner’s age is 50, but that’s only after you combine all others’ ages and divide that into seven slices. Only 15 percent of homeowners in Salt Lake City, Utah are 35. So, there are millennials buying homes but the numbers are growing slower than older generations.

  • Homeowners: 50.1
  • Renters: 36.6

Des Moines, Iowa

Further up north in the Hawkeye State is Des Moines. The population is a little more than 217,000 in the city. And 60 percent of those residents own homes, according to the Census Bureau. However, the overall average homeowner’s age is 50. That’s not to say there aren’t younger homeowners – there are just less of them.

  • Homeowners: 50.4
  • Renters: 38.5

Raleigh, North Carolina

The median age of the 458,862 people living in Raleigh, North Carolina is 33, according to government data site DataUSA. But judging by LendingTree’s study, most of those residents do not have a mortgage. The average homeowner’s age is nearly 20 years older than the typical resident in the city. More of younger residents of Raleigh, North Carolina rent their homes.

  • Homeowners: 50.6
  • Renters: 38.7

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is known to be a millennial boomtown. The city that wants to be kept weird lures younger Americans with its vibrant music scene, art, entertainment, and nightlife. It doesn’t seem like many are planting roots for good, though. The majority of renters in this city are older millennials. Meanwhile, the average homeowner fits the age group among Gen X.   

  • Homeowners: 50.6
  • Renters: 34.9

Minneapolis, Minnesota

This city ranked No. 4 on personal finance site SmartAsset’s “Top 10 Cities Where Millennials Are Moving” to. But when you look at this data, you can see many of them aren’t homeowners. The average age of those who own is 51. That’s not saying that there aren’t any younger homeowners – just the overall average is older.

  • Homeowners: 51.2
  • Renters: 40.2

Omaha, Nebraska

The largest city in Nebraska is also No. 8 on the youngest homeowners’ list. There are nearly 200,000 housing units in Omaha, Nebraska, according to Census. And most of them are owned by residents over the age of 50.

That’s despite the fact that the median age of the population is 34. But there is still 43 percent of homes being rented in this Midwestern city. Omaha attracts younger professionals with a strong economy, according to U.S. News & World Report.

  • Homeowners: 51.2
  • Renters: 39.1

Houston, Texas

Like many cities on this list, the median population’s age is in their 30s. But just living in a city doesn’t mean you own your dwelling. The average renter’s age is 38. Meanwhile, homeowners skew more middle-aged. Interestingly the homeownership rate in Houston, Texas is only 43 percent. Meaning the majority of residents – regardless of age – do not own homes.

  • Homeowners: 51.3
  • Renters: 37.9

McAllen, Texas

The homeownership rate in this city is much larger than its neighboring Austin, Texas – at 60 percent. McAllen, Texas is also No.1 out of the 200 largest cities where homeowners are most likely to default on their mortgages, according to previous Debt.com reporting.

  • Homeowners: 51.3
  • Renters: 38.9

Oldest homeowners

Scranton, Pennsylvania

The overall population is older, according to U.S. News. However, the median age in the city is 42 and it shows in LendingTree’s findings as well. Homeowners and renters are among Gen X and younger baby boomers. More than half of the residents of Scranton, Pennsylvania own, DataUSA reports.

  • Homeowners: 56.4
  • Renters: 45.9

Debt.com has previously reported that residents of Scranton, Pa. are second worst in the nation at paying bills on time.

Tucson, Arizona

The price of a home in Tucson, Arizona is more than $37,000 fewer than the national average, according to Zillow. This could be a reason why so many homeowners are creeping closer to retirement age. Granted, there would still be almost 10 years until then. But by that time, the homeowner could accrue enough equity to live out the rest of their days there or sell and downsize to a smaller place.

  • Homeowners: 56.7
  • Renters: 40.1

Miami, Florida

Seven out of the 10 cities with the oldest homeowners are all located in Florida. And even more interesting, two are located in South Florida. It’s safe to say moving to the Sunshine State is the retirement dream of many working Americans.

  • Homeowners:  57.4
  • Renters: 44

Not only are most homeowners older in Miami, but it’s also the third worst city in the U.S. to start over after bankruptcy, according to Debt.com reporting.

Tampa, Florida

Cigar City has the seventh oldest homeowners in the country, according to LendingTree. The average homeowner’s age is 58. Despite homeowners being slightly older, the median age in the city is younger. The typical Tampa, Florida resident’s age is 36, according to DataUSA.

  • Homeowners:  57.6
  • Renters: 41.8

Tampa, FL is also No. 3 on the top five biggest cities with the cheapest homes.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Debt.com has previously reported that Hawaii is the worst state to move to if you want to save money. But what if you already have money? Well, then this tropical island may make sense to buy a home on.

This definitely won’t be a city where you’re going to see a lot of younger homeowners. The median price of a home is $625,000. There aren’t many younger workers able to have saved up enough for a down payment on a home that expensive.

  • Homeowners:  58.1
  • Renters: 41.8

Lakeland, Florida

This is a city where the age of your typical resident is definitely on the older side compared to others on this list. The median age in Lakeland, Florida is 40 and a significant portion of the population is over 65, according to U.S. News. Home prices are a modest $160,000 and the monthly rent is $883.

  • Homeowners: 58.5
  • Renters: 42.8

Palm Bay, Florida

The typical resident’s age keeps increasing the further along this list we go. The median age in Palm Bay, Florida is 40 and the average homeowner’s age is close to 60 years old. And roughly 15 percent of the population in this city are seniors, according to Census.

  • Homeowners: 59.5
  • Renters: 44.7

Deltona, Florida

The median age in the city is 38, according to DataUSA. However, the average homeowner’s age is 60 and renters are 45. Plenty of others in the city are much younger, but the majority of older residents outweighs statistics of those younger. The American Association of Retired People calls Deltona, Florida one of “Florida’s Best Kept Secrets.”

  • Homeowners: 60.2
  • Renters: 45.4

Cape Coral, Florida

The majority of homeowners in Cape Coral, Florida are between 65 and 74 – and the average age overall is 61. This city is located on a beach in a state with no income tax. And the costs of living are low.  

  • Homeowners: 61.5
  • Renters: 45.4

North Port, Florida

The average homeowner in this city is near retirement age and probably an AARP magazine subscriber. It’s not just the oldest age of homeowners noted in this study – renters and residents are older, too. Both of those data points are made up of people who are near 50 years old.  

  • Homeowners: 63.3
  • Renters: 48.2
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About the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Joe Pye is the managing editor of Debt.com. In 2016, Pye started writing about debt and personal finance while attending Florida Atlantic University, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the student-run newspaper, the University Press. Before graduating with a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism, Pye placed as a finalist for the Mark of Excellence award by the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 for feature writing and in-depth reporting. In 2021, Pye earned First Place in the Green Eyeshade awards for "Best Blog" for his side-project BrowardBeer.com. Since taking a full-time position here in 2018, Pye has become a certified debt management professional who's applied what he's learned to his personal life by paying down more than $22,000 worth of combined credit card, student loan, auto and tax debt in less than two years.

Published by Debt.com, LLC