Young people continue to prefer urban living over homes in the suburbs. A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Regional Science found millennials aged 25-34 were the major driving force in the urban revival of the past two decades and prefer living in central urban neighborhoods significantly more than previous generations.1
Why Are Millennials Moving to Cities?
There a couple of key reasons why young adults are choosing to move into cities and live in urban neighborhoods – job opportunities and easy access to rental properties.
Jobs – Millennials are moving to cities for the variety of career opportunities found there. Among these young professionals relocating to urban centers, the majority of them are college graduates. This is good news for companies trying to attract the millennial workforce in an effort to better connect with millennial customers.
Rental Homes – According to a report by The Urban Institute, homeownership among millennials is around 37% which is significantly lower compared to homeownership among baby boomers and Gen Xers.2 Instead of becoming homeowners, millennials continue to be renters well into their lives. The wide availability of rental apartments and single-family homes is another reason why cities are attractive.
What Do Millennials Want In a City?
Where do millennials want to live? It’s clear that young people are gravitating more towards cities over the suburbs or any other areas. But, what do millennials want in a city? Some cities and urban neighborhoods are more attractive than others. These are the top two qualities that make a city stand out to a millennial.
Amenities – Easy access to a wide variety of amenities is one of the big reasons why millennials want to move to a city.1 Having a diverse selection of restaurants, unique retail shops, recreation options, and entertainment venues at your fingertips is definitely a perk of urban living.
Public Transit – Even more than a strong preference for amenities, what matters most to millennials is convenient access to public transportation. Public transit makes for easier commutes and even major savings if it saves someone from having to invest in a car, both of which are pluses for young professionals.
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- Yongsung Lee, Bumsoo Lee, & Md Tanvir Hossain, – Urban revival by Millennials? Intraurban net migration patterns of young adults, 1980–2010
- Jung Hyun Choi, Jun Zhu, & Laurie Goodman, The Urban Institute – The state of millennial homeownership