Austin Ranked Best Housing Market for Millennials

Austin Ranked Best Housing Market for Millennials

Miami comes in first for Gen Xers, while Pittsburgh is the place for baby boomers
millennial friends having brunch

In a 2021 survey from human resource consultant and staffing firm Robert Half, the majority of workers (54%) said they were interested in finding fully remote positions in a different city or state from where they currently lived. And as home prices are expected to grow anywhere from roughly 3% to 11% in 2022, more homebuyers report having difficulties finding affordable housing in their own communities. But with remote work on the rise, buyers can expand their searches to metro areas around the country.

In its annual ranking of the top 10 housing markets, homebuying and selling platform Knock analyzed the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. to determine which locations offer the best attributes for buyers across three generations: millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. The Knock platform helps buyers narrow down the best locations based on affordability and other key attributes that matter to each age group — here are the results of its generational breakdown:

Millennials: Austin

According to Knock, Austin stands out as the best locale for the attributes millennials want. Overall, the top cities for millennials are magnets for this younger generation (its members make up, on average, one-fifth to one-fourth of these cities’ respective populations), offering higher-than-average housing affordability and large concentrations of jobs in the tech, finance and health industries.

Texas’ capital in particular is already established as a youth hub — it’s home to the University of Texas’ flagship campus. And despite a 30% increase in housing prices in 2021, Austin had an influx of millennials that was on average 40 times more than that of any of the other largest metros. That might be due to its affordability in comparison to Silicon Valley — it’s become a burgeoning tech hot spot — along with its active entertainment scene (including events such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits). Here are the other best-rated cities for millennials:

Top 10 cities for millennials (in rank order):

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Des Moines, Iowa
  3. Charleston, S.C.
  4. San Antonio
  5. Atlanta
  6. Providence, R.I.
  7. St. Louis
  8. Winston-Salem, N.C.
  9. Charlotte, N.C.
  10. Spokane, Wash.

Generation X: Miami

The generation most likely to have school-aged children is flocking to family-friendly cities. Must-haves for Gen Xers include spacious and relatively affordable homes, top-ranked schools and easy access to outdoor activities. In addition, these cities also have a notable availability of managerial positions, a benefit for the many members of this generation at an advanced stage of their careers.

And though nearly half of adults report wanting to live in suburban areas, Miami offers the top qualities and features those potential relocators say they're looking for: a good place to raise children (58%) and access to recreational and outdoor activities (45%). Plus, on the managerial front, Knock cites the city as the headquarters for companies like Office Depot and Royal Caribbean Cruises, as well as others who run their Latin American-focused operations there. In addition, Miamians' strong sense of social connection and commitment to physical activity are among some of the reasons it has ranked as the top healthiest city in the U.S. for three years in a row.

Top 10 markets for Generation X (in rank order):

  1. Miami
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Knoxville, Tenn.
  4. Portland, Ore.
  5. Boise, Idaho
  6. Omaha, Neb.
  7. Raleigh, N.C.
  8. Phoenix
  9. Salt Lake City
  10. Boston

Baby boomers: Pittsburgh

According to Knock, the baby boomer generation is looking for affordable and tax-friendly housing markets. While relocating abroad can be one of the best ways for older adults to retire affordably, U.S. cities like Pittsburgh have a big draw, too.

That's due, at least in part, to the fact that Pittsburgh offers what Knock calls one of the best health care systems in the country. Other features that might attract boomers there include ample part-time employment opportunities, access to 400 miles of trails and lots of other recreational activities.

Top 10 markets for baby boomers (in rank order):

  1. Pittsburgh
  2. Lansing, Mich.
  3. Knoxville, Tenn.
  4. New Orleans
  5. Birmingham, Ala.
  6. Augusta, Ga.
  7. Greenville, S.C.
  8. Palm Bay, Fla.
  9. Jacksonville, Fla.
  10. Tucson, Ariz.

Methodology: Analysis was conducted on 100 of the United States’ top metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) by population size; this study compared affordability and supply metrics while also considering each generation’s unique factors specific by age group.

Generations were defined as follows:

  • Millennials (ages 25 to 40)
  • Generation X (ages 41 to 56)
  • Baby boomers (ages 57 to 75)
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