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Where Veterans Buy Homes: Top VA Loan Markets of the Past 5 Years

Veterans and service members have turned to their home loan benefit in waves in recent years. Created 80 years ago this June, the VA loan program helps put homeownership more in reach for those who serve.

This no-down payment mortgage features flexible credit underwriting, closing cost limits and the industry’s lowest average interest rates. The VA has backed nearly 30 million loans over the last eight decades, with 15% coming in the last five years alone.

This hard-earned benefit also continues to help younger Veterans and service members break into the housing market ahead of their civilian counterparts. Nearly 60% of all VA purchase loans went to Millennial and Generation Z buyers last year.

Top 25 Markets for VA Buyers (FY23-FY19)

First, we’ll take a look at the Top 25 markets for all VA purchase loans over the last five years. Then we’ll provide separate breakdowns for the top markets for Millennial buyers and Gen Z buyers.

Top 25 Markets for VA Buyers (FY23-FY19)

Rank Market VA Loan Purchases
1 Washington-Arlington-Alexandra-DC 63,203
2 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 61,896
3 San Antonio, TX 50,157
4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 48,254
5 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 39,877
6 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 37,910
7 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 37,181
8 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 31,771
9 Colorado Springs, CO 31,313
10 Jacksonville, FL 29,683
11 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 28,432
12 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 27,181
13 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 25,948
14 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 22,637
15 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI 22,624
16 Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX 22,139
17 Baltimore-Towson, MD 21,208
18 Fayetteville, NC 20,799
19 Denver-Aurora, CO 18,314
20 Clarksville, TN-KY 17,766
21 St. Louis, MO-IL 17,478
22 Jacksonville, NC 17,429
23 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 17,020
24 Orlando-Kissimmee, FL 16,770
25 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 16,725

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs statistics

Top 25 Markets for Millennial VA Buyers (FY23-FY19)

Millennial Veterans and service members have become the dominant force in VA lending over the last five years.

The VA loan benefit was built to help Veterans buy homes without the need for a down payment or top-tier credit. Those are two primary hurdles keeping scores of prospective civilian homebuyers on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, nearly 1 million Millennial Veterans and service members have used this benefit to become homeowners in the last five years alone, accounting for just under half of all VA purchase loans since Fiscal Year 2019.

Here’s a look at where Millennial Veterans and service members are buying:

Rank Market VA Loan Purchases
1 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 36,263
2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandra-DC 32,109
3 San Antonio, TX 24,019
4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 22,045
5 Colorado Springs, CO 18,822
6 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 17,084
7 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 16,509
8 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 15,900
9 Jacksonville, FL 14,286
10 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 14,077
11 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 13,706
12 Fayetteville, NC 12,963
13 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 12,719
14 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 12,316
15 Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX 12,269
16 Baltimore-Towson, MD 11,425
17 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI 11,272
18 Clarksville, TN-KY 11,188
19 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 10,447
20 Jacksonville, NC 10,393
21 Denver-Aurora, CO 9,646
22 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 8,678
23 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 8,626
24 St. Louis, MO-IL 8,570
25 Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FL 7,947

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs statistics

Top 25 Markets for Gen Z VA Buyers (FY23-FY19)

This youngest demographic is just starting to make their presence felt in housing markets across the country.

Over the last five years, Gen Z Veterans have accounted for about 4% of all VA purchase loans. But they’ve experienced big gains in the last year in particular, when purchase loans were up a whopping 62% compared to just two years ago.

Here’s a look at where Generation Z Veterans and service members are buying:

Top 25 Markets for Gen Z VA Buyers (FY23-FY19)

Rank Market VA Loan Purchases
1 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 6,738
2 Jacksonville, NC 3,849
3 Colorado Springs, CO 2,424
4 Clarksville, TN-KY 2,391
5 Fayetteville, NC 2,324
6 Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX 1,873
7 San Antonio, TX 1,722
8 Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FL 1,564
9 Jacksonville, FL 1,518
10 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 1,306
11 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,187
12 Hinesville-Fort Stewart, GA 1,102
13 Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 1,086
14 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 1,085
15 El Paso, TX 1,064
16 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 1,016
17 Charleston-North Charleston, SC 993
18 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 934
19 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 906
20 Oklahoma City, OK 834
21 Honolulu, HI 806
22 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 803
23 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 791
24 Baltimore-Towson, MD 741
25 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 689

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs statistics

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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