New homeowners Seth Joiner, 38, and Grizel Joiner, 35, moved from Galt to Elk Grove because of its close proximity to their jobs. They also love the high-performing school district and what the city offers their five children. “Elk Grove has everything we want and need — it’s all right here,” Seth Joiner says. Additionally, the city has a lively restaurant scene for their whole family. “It fits our personality more.”
Young people are flocking to the Sacramento region’s suburban areas. A recent SmartAsset report — that defines millennial homebuyers as under age 35 — found that Elk Grove sits at the No. 2 spot in the U.S. for millennial home buying. In Elk Grove, “the homeownership rate for millennials was 60 percent in 2015,” according to the report.
Houses in Elk Grove are more attractive because they are affordable, as developers continue to build new residential construction within the city, says local Broker Associate Erin Stumpf of Dunnigan Realtors. The median value of a home in Elk Grove was $350,300 in 2015, according to the SmartAsset report. The continued efforts to build more homes in the area has helped to create an affordable housing market in a city located close to other amenities within the Sacramento region, Stumpf says.
Related: The Great Millennial Migration
With so many new millennial homebuyers, business growth is on the rise in Elk Grove to serve these new residents. “The population has increased by over 100,000 [since 2000], with many people attracted to Elk Grove’s relative affordability and proximity to jobs in Sacramento and San Francisco,” according to the report. Business growth has occurred to meet their needs. “New businesses are popping up to support new residents in the areas that are being built,” Stumpf says.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota ranked first on the SmartAsset list. California claimed the most cities to make it into the top 10, with three in the Golden State. Roseville ranked fourth and Bakersfield ranked third. This means that two out of the top five fastest-growing cities for millennial homeowners — Elk Grove and Roseville — in the U.S. are in the Sacramento region.
“Elk Grove is an expansive geographic area,” Stumpf says. “I have helped clients all over. There are a lot of newer homes and a lot of established parts of Elk Grove.” Another area in the region popular among millennials, she says, is Natomas for its close proximity to downtown Sacramento. She credits Roseville’s abundance of open space as one reason the city is popular among young people.
The shift from downtown to suburban living is a natural progression that Stumpf has seen in other generations. “This age segment has always wanted to purchase,” she says. “There has just been an evolution of that age bracket where their aging and their priorities are shifting. The type of home has evolved with them.” Millennials are stepping into this suburban stage because of its relative affordability and how these communities often suit the next phase in their family lives.