IRVINE, CA—RealtyTrac has analyzed USCensus population data between 2007 and2013 in more than 1,800 counties nationwide to discoverwhich markets are seeing the biggest shifts in both baby boomer andmillennial populations. The firm has overlaid that data withinformation on median prices, price appreciation and rental ratesto create a heat map of their migration patterns. The analysisfurther focused in on the top 10 counties forincreases and decreases in both millennials and baby boomers.

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“The millennial generation is the key to a sustained real estaterecovery and boomers who are downsizing are helping open the doorfor many first time homebuyers while also driving demand forpurchases and rentals in the markets where they are moving,” saidDaren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.“Naturally, millennials are attracted to markets with good jobprospects and low unemployment but that tend to have high rentalrates and high home price appreciation, while boomers are moving tolower populated areas which have slower home priceappreciation.”

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The millennial generation is generally moving fromlower-priced to higher-priced markets for bothbuying and renting, with the tradeoff being more jobs (lowerunemployment) and higher median incomes in the markets they aremoving to. The top two counties for percentage increase inmillennials between 2007 and 2013 were in the DC metro area —Arlington County, VA, which saw an increase ofmillennials of 82% and Alexandria City, VA, whichsaw and increase of 81% . Not surprisingly both counties have afavorable unemployment rate of 3.2% and3.6% respectively, well below the nationalaverage. Orleans Parish, LA, in the New Orleans metro area, wasthird, with an increase of 71% and San Francisco County, where highhome appreciation hasn't scared away millennials, was fourth on thelist with an increase of 68%. Rounding out the top five wasDenver County, CO, which saw an increase of57% in its millennial population between 2007 and2013.

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Other counties among the top 10 for biggest percentage increasein millennial population between 2007 and 2013 were MontgomeryCounty, TN, (46% increase), Hudson County, NJ, (44% increase), NewYork County, NY, (43% increase), and Multnomah County, OR (41%increase).

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Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10counties with the biggest percentage increase in millennialpopulation between 2007 and 2013:

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· Average household income: $62,496

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· Average population: 587,522

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· Median home price: $406,800

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· Average annual home price appreciation: 4.3%

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· Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,619

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· Average gross yield on rental: 6.2%

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· Average unemployment rate: 5.2 %

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The baby boomer generation is generally movingfrom higher-priced to lower-priced markets forboth buying and renting, with the tradeoff being lower medianhousehold incomes and slower home price appreciation. The topmarkets with the biggest percentage increase in baby boomersbetween 2007 and 2013 were Brunswick County, NC, in the Wilmingtonmetro area where the median home price was well below the nationalaverage at $115,000 but had an increase of boomers of 50%.Following closely was Pinal County, AZ, in the Phoenix metro areaup 41%, Charlotte County, FL, in the Punta Gorda metro area up 34%and Beaufort County, SC, in the Hilton Head metro area up 34%.Rounding out the top five was Sussex County, DE, where themillennial population increased 31% between 2007 and 2013.

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Other counties among the top 10 for biggest percentage increasein baby boomer population between 2007 and 2013 were OrleansParish, LA, (30% increase), Citrus County, FL, (28% increase), LeeCounty, FL, (28% increase), Yavapai County, AZ, (27% increase), andLake County, FL, (27% increase).

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“Boomers are recovering from a recession that wiped out much ofthe equity in both the stock and housing markets,” saidChris Pollinger, senior vice president of sales atFirst Team Real Estate, covering the SouthernCalifornia market. “We are seeing many boomers cash out asthey regain the equity that was lost in the last downturn.”

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Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10counties with the biggest percentage increase in baby boomerpopulation between 2007 and 2013:

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· Average household income: $46,268

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· Average population: 261,232

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· Median home price: $144,875

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· Average annual home price appreciation: 4.3 percent

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· Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,182

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· Average gross yield on rental: 10.7 percent

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· Average unemployment rate: 5.8 percent

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Millennials are moving away from counties with a smallerpopulation (average 178,277) to counties with a largerpopulation (average 587,522). Top markets losing millennialsbetween 2007 and 2013 were Fayette County, Ga., in the Atlantametro area, which saw a 31% decrease in the millennial population.Trailing closely behind was Citrus County, Fla., in theHomosassa Springs metro area with adecrease of 27%, El Dorado County, Calif., in the Sacramento metroarea with a decrease of 25%, Yavapai County, Ariz., in the Prescottmetro area with a decrease of 23 percent, and St. Clair County inthe Detroit metro area with a decrease of 22%.

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Other counties in the top 10 forthe biggest percentage decrease in millennial population between2007 and 2013 were Livingston County, Mich., (20 percent decrease),DeKalb County, Ill., (20 percent decrease), Monroe County, Mich.,(19 percent decrease), Monroe County, Pa., (19 percent decrease),and Orange County, N.Y. (18 percent decrease).

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Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10counties with the biggest percentage decrease in millennialpopulation between 2007 and 2013:

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· Average household income: $57,656

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· Average population: 178,277

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· Median home price: $151,165

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· Average annual home price appreciation: 8.6 percent

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· Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,243

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· Average gross yield on rental: 11.4 percent

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· Average unemployment rate: 6.9 percent

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Baby boomers are moving fromcounties with a larger population (average 809,464) to countieswith a smaller population (261,232). Four of the top 10 countieslosing baby boomers were in the Atlanta metro area, Fulton County,GA, (22% decrease), DeKalb County, GA., (21% decrease), ClaytonCounty, GA, (16% decrease) and Cobb County, GA (14% decrease). Twoof the top 10 counties where baby boomers are leaving are in the DCmetro area - Arlington County, VA, (21% decrease) and AlexandriaCity, VA, (15%).

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Other counties in the top 10 forthe biggest percentage decrease in baby boomer population between2007 and 2013 were Wayne County, MI, (17% decrease), MilwaukeeCounty, WI, (14% decrease), New York County, NY, (14 percentdecrease), and Hamilton County, OH, (13% decrease).

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The above population trends are also evident within the samemetropolitan area, with millennials moving from lower-populatedcounties to higher-populated counties within the same metro, andbaby boomers doing the opposite or moving out of the area entirely.Prime examples of this include Washington, D.C., Denver, New Yorkand Portland.

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Real estate and economic characteristics among the top 10counties with the biggest percentage decrease in baby boomerpopulation between 2007 and 2013:

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· Average household income: $59,280

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· Average population: 809,464

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· Median home price: $260,521

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· Average annual home price appreciation: 11.7%

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· Average fair market rent for 3-bedroom: $1,371

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· Average gross yield on rental: 12.0%

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· Average unemployment rate: 6.2%

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David Phillips

David Phillips is a Chicago-based freelance writer and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business and community news. He also has extensive reporting experience in the food manufacturing industry for national trade publications.