I rarely write about age cohorts — Generation X, Millennial, Baby Boomer, etc. — as I am typically more focused on overall community success and prosperity. Still, this short Redfin piece, mentioned in the Brandon Donnelly real estate and technology blog that I follow, caught my attention this weekend.

The gist is this: Of the 50 largest American metro areas, the Raleigh metro is one of only five in the U.S. to have achieved both of the following prosperity indicators for Millennials*: home ownership rates > 35%, and Millennial share of business ownership > 6.5%.

The Redfin article summarized the information based on Census data captured from recent American Community Survey (for home ownership) and Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (for business ownership) data.

One might think of Redfin’s combination of homeownership and business ownership measures as a “Millennial economic opportunity index.” In other words, are housing costs affordable, given prevailing salaries, and are younger adults successfully starting businesses, given the economic climate.

The Raleigh-Cary metro successfully crested the 35% and 6.5% levels, with a Millennial home ownership rate of 35.8%, and with the share of businesses owned by Millennials at 6.9%. (The Durham metro was not included due to size requirements for at least one of the datasets.) If you are curious, the average rates across all 50 metros are 31.9% and 5.9%, respectively.

Of note: the Raleigh metro median home price was listed in the Redfin piece as $286,000, or fully $50k more than the average for the top 50 metros. However, that is for all homes, not just Millennials, who (I assume) have an average purchase price lower than $286k, and/or sufficient salaries, to have gained a 35% home ownership rate in the Raleigh metro area.

Donnelley said that the Redfin list could be interpreted as a “bit of a leading indicator for US cities on the rise.” I agree. It is clear that the overall Triangle region — or “the R&D cities” as I sometimes refer to Raleigh & Durham together given our research and development prowess — continues to advance, innovate and prosper, and is poised for greater success. The Redfin article and the underlying ownership rate of homes and businesses by young adults are one more indicator of this.

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

post reference: th3.2019.22

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation

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* The Redfin piece uses the term Millennials, which Wikipedia and others describe as those aged 23-38 in 2019. Taking a look at the original Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs dataset, which included age cohorts of “under 25” as well as “25-34” in its 2016 data, this is almost exactly the Millennial cohort, although it appears it could include the very youngest Generation X as well as any Generation Z business owners who responded.