Cities Where VA Purchase Mortgages Surged Among Millennials


Since the Great Recession ended, the percentage of eligible first-time homebuyers who get loans through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mortgage guarantee program has been higher than it was precrisis.

The share of eligible first-time buyers using the VA program went from under one-third in 2007 to nearly three-quarters in 2016, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

There were 624,544 loans guaranteed by the VA during the last fiscal year, of which 384,495 were for home purchases. This was due in part to the fact the benefit can be used to purchase a home on multiple occasions.

The VA home loan benefit allows qualified veterans and active military service members to purchase a home through a program that offers 100% financing and low interest rates. Veterans also are entitled to college or trade school funding as part of their broader benefits. So those between the ages 18 and 38 may be quicker to purchase a home than non-military peers who might be burdened by student loan debt.

“The VA loan program means millennial and Gen Z buyers don’t have to spend years building the credit and savings their civilian counterparts often need,” Chris Birk, director of education for Veterans United Home Loans, said in a press release.

To pinpoint where growth in this niche is concentrated locally, Veterans United first combined the VA’s purchase volume data for millennials born between 1981 and 1996 and members of Gen Z born after 1997. The lender then compared the totals for federal fiscal years 2019 and 2018, which end on Sept. 30. Finally, Veterans United ranked metro areas where lenders originated at least 2,000 VA-guaranteed purchase mortgage originations total during the two years by their year-over-year percentage increase.

From the Tennessee-Kentucky border through coastal North Carolina, here are the 15 metro areas where younger generations’ VA purchase-loan activity increased the most over the past fiscal year. Most of these locations had military facilities nearby.


No. 15 Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky.

Year-over-year growth: 12.4%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,296


No. 14 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla.

Year-over-year growth: 12.8%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 1,562


No. 13 Fayetteville, N.C.

Year-over-year growth: 12.8%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,218


No. 12 San Antonio, Texas

Year-over-year growth: 13%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 3,946


No. 11 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

Year-over-year growth: 13.7%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,471


No. 10 Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.

Year-over-year growth: 14.7%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,025


No. 9 Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.

Year-over-year growth: 16.5%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 1,452


No. 8 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

Year-over-year growth: 17.2%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,295


No. 7 Jacksonville, Fla.

Year-over-year growth: 17.2%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,623


No. 6 Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Year-over-year growth: 17.3%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 1,246


No. 5 Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, Fla.

Year-over-year growth: 19.7%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 1,578


No. 4 El Paso, Texas

Year-over-year growth: 20.4%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 1,237


No. 3 Oklahoma City, Okla.

Year-over-year growth: 20.5%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 1,561


No. 2 Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas

Year-over-year growth: 25%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,219


No. 1 Jacksonville, N.C.

Year-over-year growth: 44.4%
Number of loans originated in FY19: 2,501

Posted on nationalmortgagenews.com on 11/05/19.