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Top Markets for Generation Z Veteran & Military Homebuyers

At a Glance

Gen Z VA buyers are on the verge of transforming the housing market. These younger Veterans and service members were one of the few bright spots in a tough year for VA lending. Here's a closer look at where they're starting to make waves.

The nation’s youngest Veterans are breathing life into housing markets across the country.

VA purchase loans for Generation Z Veterans and service members increased 15.5% in Fiscal Year 2023 over the prior year, according to an analysis of Department of Veterans Affairs data by Veterans United Home Loans.

Despite a challenging inventory and affordability environment, Gen Z Veterans made their emerging presence felt:

  • VA purchase loans to this demographic were up 62% from two years ago
  • Gen Z Veterans comprised 7.2% of all VA loans, compared to 3.4% the year prior
  • Total VA loans to Gen Z Veterans were up 11.8% year over year

Generation Z was the only age group to see a year-over-year increase in what was otherwise a down year for VA lending.

“Generation Z Veterans are ready to step into the spotlight and start making waves in the housing market, signaling a transformative impact in the years ahead,” said Chris Birk, vice president of mortgage insight at Veterans United. “Their significant uptick in VA loan utilization not only highlights their resilience but also underscores the enduring value of the VA loan benefit in helping younger Veterans achieve the American dream of homeownership.”

Nearing its 80th anniversary, the VA loan program has made homebuying easier for generations of Veterans and service members. VA loans help buyers purchase without a down payment or the need for great credit, which are two major hurdles for many younger prospective buyers.

Gen Z’s Housing Market Impacts

Much of the growth in Gen Z buying has been in military-dense communities, which are traditional VA loan strongholds. But larger metro areas and other markets are also seeing more and more Gen Z Veterans buy homes and begin to plant roots.

Below, we break down Gen Z’s growing impact in three distinct charts:

  • The first looks at the country’s largest markets for Gen Z VA homebuyers last fiscal year.
  • The second shows the housing markets that experienced the biggest year-over-year growth in Gen Z VA homebuying.
  • The third chart shows the markets that saw the biggest year-over-year overall gain in Gen Z market share, to include VA purchase and refinance loans.

Top 25 VA Markets for Gen Z Homebuyers

Housing Market VA Purchase Loans (FY23)
Virginia Beach, Va. 2,001
Jacksonville, N.C. 834
Fayetteville, N.C. 723
San Antonio 662
Clarksville, Tenn. 639
Colorado Springs, Colo. 579
Killeen, Texas 573
Jacksonville, Fla. 558
Fort Walton, Fla. 440
Washington, D.C. 426
Houston 410
San Diego 395
Dallas 386
Phoenix 385
El Paso 360
Pensacola, Fla. 349
Hinesville, Ga. 336
Charleston, S.C. 333
Riverside, Calif. 328
Tampa 249
Chicago 241
Atlanta 231
St. Louis 215
Seattle 214
Savannah, Ga. 183

Top 25 VA Markets for Biggest Jump in Gen Z Homebuying

Housing Market VA Purchase Loans (FY23) % Increase From FY22
Houston 410 96%
Dallas 386 72%
Columbia, S.C. 165 55.7%
Atlanta 231 49%
Phoenix 385 42.6%
San Antonio 662 39%
Tampa 249 34.6%
Jacksonville, Fla. 558 32.9%
St. Louis 215 31%
Denver 154 29%
Philadelphia 163 29%
Chicago 241 26%
Charleston, S.C. 333 22%
Columbus, Ga. 173 21.8%
Omaha 156 19%
Pensacola, Fla. 349 18%
Riverside, Calif. 328 16%
El Paso 360 15.4%
Tucson, Ariz. 176 15%
Oklahoma City 281 13%
Washington, D.C. 426 13%
Las Vegas 289 12.9%
Seattle 214 12.6%
Minneapolis 153 12.5%
San Diego 395 10%

Minimum loan count of 150

Top 25 VA Markets for Biggest Jump in Gen Z Marketshare

Housing Market % of Gen Z overall (FY23) % of Gen Z overall (FY22) % Point Difference
Jacksonville, N.C. 26% 19% 7%
Hinesville, Ga. 23% 16% 7%
Clarksville, Tenn. 19% 12% 7%
Fort Walton, Fla. 19% 12% 7%
Charleston, S.C. 14% 7% 7%
Honolulu 13% 6% 7%
San Diego 10% 3% 7%
Virginia Beach, Va. 16% 10% 6%
Fayetteville, N.C. 16% 10% 6%
Killeen, Texas 14% 9% 5%
El Paso 14% 9% 5%
Anchorage 12% 7% 5%
Pensacola, Fla. 10% 5% 5%
Columbus, Ga. 10% 5% 5%
Omaha 9% 4% 5%
Jacksonville, Fla. 9% 4% 5%
Colorado Springs, Colo. 11% 7% 4%
Little Rock, Ark. 10% 6% 4%
Oklahoma City 9% 5% 4%
Riverside, Calif. 7% 3% 4%
Minneapolis 7% 3% 4%
Tucson, Ariz. 7% 3% 4%
Houston 6% 2% 4%
Las Vegas 6% 2% 4%

This includes VA purchase and refinance loans.

About Our Editorial Process

Veterans United is recognized as the leading VA lender in the nation, unmatched in our specialization and expertise in VA loans. Our strict adherence to accuracy and the highest editorial standards guarantees our information is based on thoroughly vetted, unbiased research. Committed to excellence, we offer guidance to our nation's Veterans, ensuring their homebuying experience is informed, seamless and secured with integrity.

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