Atlanta falls behind in luring millennials

When it comes to enticing millennials, metro Atlanta is no stand-out, according to data crunched by a national real estate group.

Among 100 metro regions, Atlanta ranks in the middle of the pack on a range of measures, according to research by the National Association of Realtors.

Among the cities beating Atlanta for overall attractiveness to millennial homebuyers wre Dallas, Denvery and Raleigh.

Provo, Utah came in at the top of the list for share of millennials.

Millennials lag when it comes to home-buying, but while they’re saving for a down-payment, they face steep rents, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However, for those currently living in or looking to move to a more affordable part of the country, there are metro areas right now with solid job growth and that offer a smoother path to homeownership.”

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Atlanta is not at the top of those charts.

Defined as people born after 1980 or sometimes as those who came of age in this century, millennials are often seen as the crucial demographic – economically, if not culturally.

Now a larger group than the boomers born in the decades after World War II, millennials are expected to be the key to productivity, housing, growth, wealth and technology. Regions that hook ‘em and hold ‘em are seen as having a head start on the future.

Atlanta is frequently touted – at least by local business cheerleaders – as a millennial magnet.

Only there is that pesky data: not all the numbers back up those claims, according to the NAR.

— Millennials make up 14 percent of metro Atlanta’s population. On that score, metro Atlanta ranks 40th.

— Millennials are 23.6 percent of all the people moving to metro Atlanta. That is 44th highest.

The group analyzed jobs growth, population trends, income and housing conditions, aiming to find the markets most attractive to the much-vaunted generation of young adults.

— Just 19.5 percent of millennials coming to town are coming as homeowners. That is the 57th highest share.

The region does much better when it comes to taking that first step into home ownership: Qualifying income for first-time homebuyers, on average, is $28,915, the NAR says. That makes metro Atlanta the 37th cheapest region.

The average income of millennials moving into the area is $44,900 and that would qualify an awful lot potential buyers for a mortgage.

Still, there are 39 other metros with higher millennial income.

One key factor needed to draw millennials, of course, is job growth. Metro Atlanta ranks 24th in the pace of expansion.

The Realtors group found that the top 10 metro areas for millennial home-buyers are (listed alphabetically):

• Austin,

• Charleston

• Denver

• Minneapolis

• Ogden, Utah

• Portland

• Raleigh

• Salt Lake City

• Seattle

• Washington, D.C.

The study gave runner-up status to Boston, Dallas, Des Moines, Jacksonville and Nashville.

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