Unexpected Places to Find Retail Growth

Tara Mastroeni
Published: April 13, 2017 | Updated: December 10, 2021

mortgage note buyer

When you’re looking for a place to invest, it makes sense to start in booming metropolises like New York or San Francisco. Or does it? The truth is, growth is happening, but it’s not happening where you might expect. In fact, retail growth is set to boom in some of the unlikeliest of places. Abby Shemesh sat down with Chainstorage.com to discuss where mortgage note buyers should be looking next in terms of hot markets.

Mortgage experts are seeing more and more growth in unexpected areas: Kansas City, Charlotte, and the like are experiencing the beginnings of mortgage booms and influxes of workers. So what is driving buyers away from the larger cities? And who are these buyers, anyway?

Who is Driving the Market

mortgage note buyer

Short answer: Millenials. The much-maligned, social media savvy generation of the new millennium. This group, born between 1985 and 1997, give or take a year or so, is the largest since the baby boomers, at about 92 million, and they are finally beginning to show movement toward home ownership.

Often criticized for their lack of forward motion; Nearly a third were living with their parents in 2010; they came of age during the height and aftermath of the Great Recession. As job availability and wages stayed stagnant, many either turned back to school or found themselves in low-paying, low-skill careers. This left them as a generation that is the best educated in recent memory but saddled with piles of student loan debt and still waiting tables.

The economic crisis of the mid-naughts shaped the millennial generation. They tend toward a sharing economy, hence the rise of services like Uber, AirBnB and Lyft. They are putting off marriage and parenthood longer than previous generations. However, they are not a stagnant group. More than 2/3 of them say they do want marriage and children in the future, and, more importantly, more than 90% say that they want to own a home. Despite popular opinion, their eyes are certainly on the future.

As Millennials continue the slow march into their thirties, they are building momentum. Careers are being forged as the economy heals, and an entrepreneurial and freelance economy is being shaped by those discouraged by the job market. This is placing the Millennial generation in the prime spot to dive into the housing market.

Where is the Market Headed

mortgage note buyer

The truth of the matter is that most Millennials are simply priced out of towns like New York or Los Angeles. Wages have still not fully kept up with the economy is many places, and those looking for a place to call home are migrating.

Rather than looking to the coasts for growth; New York is considered the shining jewel of the real estate industry; investors should look to the interior of the country. Places like Omaha and even Detroit are seeing migrations of Millennials looking for work and affordable housing.

Careful not to fall into the traps of thinking that housing will continue to follow trends. This new generation of home buyers is eschewing the McMansions and suburban life of the Boomers and Generation X, instead opting for more affordable urban communities. Just not, as we said before, the urban communities that have so long been considered sure bets in the investment community.

It’s also important to note something else here. Because of the way that Millennials are changing the economy, ie opting for more self-employment and freelance work, they may begin to find it difficult to be approved for a traditional home loan through a bank. This opens up a potential boom for investors looking to get into the seller financing game, and more mortgage note buyers looking to capitalize on said boom.

As a property investor, you may find yourself able to move away from rentals and into carrying mortgage notes for buyers who would otherwise be unable to get a bank loan, though their income levels allow them to make the payments.


The changing economy is uncharted territory for those in the retail mortgage industry. That isn’t to say, however, that there aren’t substantial profits to be made, or that we shouldn’t have an eye to the future. It just means changing what we think we know of the market and those pursuing it. Business tactics may have to make changes toward the more authentic and more social media savvy to appease millennial buyers who loathe superficial sales pitches and who live with their smartphones in their hands.

In the same way, investors and mortgage note buyers should have their eyes on lesser known urban areas, especially those with quickly gentrifying downtown, as places for unexpected but very real retail growth.