Younger millennials are being priced out of home-buying opportunities in Reno-Sparks

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 10:50 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Nationally, from January to August 2021, millennials made up 67 percent of first-time home purchases and 37 percent of repeat purchases.

However, in Reno-Sparks the story is quite different.

Real estate agent at eXp Realty, David Tully, says millennials make up 25 to 40 percent of home purchases in the area.

“There might be only one of two homes or none at all at their price point,” said Tully.

Certified mortgage advisor at Bay Equity, Rory Butler, says it’s younger millennials who are having the hardest time.

“People in their late 20s, early 30s that had a career for a few years, they’re seeing the value in not necessarily being a renter because they do wanna have something maybe that’s unique and that they can sort of make their own,” said Butler.

Millennials or generation ‘Y’ were born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 26 to 41), which is considered the ‘prime home-buying years.’

At the national level, the median cost for a home is $408,000. While Reno-Sparks is 30 percent higher.

“It’s about $545,000 to $550,000,” said Tully.

With stagnant wages for locals and a low inventory, millennials, especially younger ones, are having to look at other options.

“I’m seeing some of them go to Fernley or some of the outskirts,” said Tully. “Fernley’s price point is lower than Reno or Sparks and you know, some people are going to the North Valleys like Stead, Cold Springs where you can get a little bit better value.”

Others just put the whole buying process on hold and keep renting.

Tully says although it is still a seller’s market, with interest rates at a record low, the time to buy a house is now.

“Economists say they think is going to be anywhere in the 3.6 to four percent range for interest rates by the end of the year,” said Tully. So you know, if prices creep up and interest rates creep up, you’re just going to be losing your buying power as time goes on.”

Butler says an option is potentially buying a townhome or attached single-family home at a lower price point.

“As you build your equity, you can sell and find something that suits you and your family as it grows,” said Butler.

Both Tully and Butler agree the area’s market is being dominated by boomers seeking retirement homes and older millennials relocating from California.

Right now there are two or three weeks of inventory, but experts believe we will be getting more homes, which will reduce buyer demands.

With millennials being tech-savvy, Bay Equity says it has been working in their favor to stay ahead of the curve.

“We provide them with real-time updates on their loans,” said Butler. “Have them e-sign documents from the comfort of their house. Also, within Bay Equity in Washoe County, you can actually close a mortgage remotely through a mobile notary or through an actual televised notary. Definitely works for people who can’t make it to an appointment or are out of town.”

If you are thinking of taking a step into home buying, make sure to seek guidance, get pre-approved for a loan, find out what you qualify for, and get a good real estate agent.

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