If you’re in any generation older than the millennial one—or you’re a classic movie buff—you may recall the famous “Field of Dreams” line, “If you build it, he will come.” Yes, thank you, Kevin Costner. It’s hard not to think about this metaphorically and literally, especially in the context of how millennials are bravely crossing demographic and geographic lines as they begin to set roots. It seems that whether or not you build it in Oregon, they will come. But why? Consider the following:

  1. Culture. Oregon is cool. Hipster even. The Portland area has earned this reputation for decades. People care about avant-garde here. Expression of self and local things. Microbrews and vineyards. The small things matter, because they impact the bigger things. Take all the cool towns in the U.S. like Berkeley and Austin and Ann Arbor and mush them into one and then you have the places of Oregon. What’s not to love? Millennials are coming to Oregon because they care about culture. They are passionate about what they do, and they prefer to connect within communities. They are goal-oriented and they value achieving a better quality of life. They, too, want the American Dream.

  2. Work. State unemployment is low, coming in at 4.3 percent in October according to the Oregon Employment Department. That’s good to know, especially since it’s been said that millennials are moving here with an entire lifestyle in mind, not just for jobs. Some of them even arrive without work lined up, the idea being that they will find something to match their all-around plans. Or they will start up something. Looking more closely at work venues, Oregon Business magazine reported that in-state millennials are working primarily in health care, retail and customer service. Although they haven’t headlined the workforce in tech and construction, there is definite room for growth as baby boomers seek to retire.

  3. Nature. Oregon’s moderate climate is a win-win for most outdoor adventuring. From bicycling to running and skiing to snowboarding, endless outdoor activities are possible for residents and vacationers in this part of the U.S. All year long. And this generation loves it because they like to get out and do things. In fact, a recent Harris Poll said that 78 percent of millennials would rather pay for an experience than purchase material things.

So then, is this generation buying houses? Yes! Zillow is reporting that people aged 18 to 34 have taken the lead as the nation’s largest group of homebuyers, coming in at around 34 percent this year. And although Eugene Oregon has been experiencing housing shortages and higher median list prices lately, continued low mortgage rates are helping offset negative factors in purchasing.

Looking at population growth, millennials in Oregon passed the 1 million mark several years ago, healthily ahead of the state’s baby boomers and Generation Xers. The largest percentages of 18 to 34 year-olds live in Portland and its suburbs, but many cities and small towns across the state are growing in popularity thanks to their affordability, family-friendliness, and job openings. So the millennials will come, whether or not anyone builds it. Overall, that’s great news for real estate, construction, and just about anyone involved in the housing industry.