Despite their bad rap — they’re accused of being narcissistic, entitled, unmotivated, shallow — Oklahoma City is at peace with millennials, at least when it comes to the housing market.
They’re moving in and they’re buying houses, according to new research from the National Association of Realtors. The study, “Most Popular Areas for Millennials: Where They Move and Stay,” found that 29% of people living here are millennials, and that 61% of people moving here are millennials.
During the time of the survey, millennials were in position to afford 30% of the homes on the market here, the study found.
Oklahoma City was not in the top five cities attractive to the age group, those born roughly 1981-1996. They were — and some of these might surprise you — Seattle; Omaha, Nebraska; Madison, Wisconsin; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Durham, North Carolina.
The job market and housing affordability drive millennials most, the study found. Affordable housing is one of Oklahoma City’s biggest selling points when held up against other bigger cities. And unemployment sits at 3%, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out Wednesday.
“As long as supply keeps up to meet demand, and prevents costs from rising too high and too rapidly, these identified metro areas are likely to see an uptick in purchases from millennial homebuyers, including Oklahoma City,” said Lawrence Yun, the Realtors’ chief economist.
That’s a good thing. Millennials’ reputation for being spoiled, or whatever, is greatly exaggerated, said Sarah Bytyqi, managing broker at Verbode. The brokerage concentrates on properties in the center of the city and works with lots of millennials, who tend to prefer being in the heart of cities rather than the ′burbs.
“The story society tells about millennials is not true,” said Bytyqi, whose shop is at 415 N Broadway Ave., No. 101, downtown. “Millennials are so misunderstood and mislabeled. They are smart, educated and employed. They know who they are and what they want more than any of my other clients. From my experience working with them, I believe millennials to be very resourceful. They don’t want to be renters, and they associate homeownership with becoming an adult.”