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Millennial Moving Patterns: Where are They Moving?

Millennials are on the move constantly, whether that be for a new job, family, or living conditions. See their moving patterns as well as what to expect from this generation in the years to come. Millennials are on the move constantly, whether that be for a new job, family, or living conditions. See their moving patterns as well as what to expect from this generation in the years to come.
Real estate professionals have started tracking the living circumstances of millennials. millennials-san-diegoThis is the group of individuals who were born after 1980, which makes them the first generation to come of age during the new millennium. Real estate agents are tracking the moving patterns of the group because there are 75.4 million of them in the United States, the older group of this generation making up about 13 percent of the population.

Real estate agents have determined that this segment of the country is approximately 30 percent of current home buyers, a substantial amount of the nation's home buying population. With that in mind, just where are the millennials moving to and from? Below, we’ve complied the latest information on millennial moving patterns as well as what you can expect from this generation in the years to come.

Where Are Millennials Buying Homes? published a recent report detailing where millennials are buying homes. According to the report, people in this age group are moving to cities like San Diego, Memphis, and Austin.

San Diego's median home price is $585,000. While the cost of home ownership is high in this California town, it is attractive because of its strong biotech industry, amazing year-round weather, quality colleges and beautiful terrain. Millennials tend to value walkable communities that feature a blend of residential and commercial property. San Diego has an abundance of them.

Millennials are also moving to Memphis. This Southern city is tempting them with its low cost of living and affordably priced homes, which make it a little easier to afford the "American dream." In addition, Memphis's median household income is rising faster than it is in other U.S. cities, so millennials are able to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Austin's quirky reputation, ample tech jobs and affordable median home prices are persuading millennials to transfer to Texas. Recent census statistics show that the city grew by 2.9 percent from July of 2013 to July of 2014. Austin has about 24 percent more residents aged 25 to 34 than the country does as a whole. In other words, millennials love Austin.

Pittsburgh is another popular place for millennials. Those who live in the city compare it to Portland. With its low housing costs, thriving nightlife and revitalized waterfront, the city knows how to keep millennials happy. The Pennsylvania metropolis is a good place for young professionals to begin their careers.

Seattle has a large percentage of millennials living within its borders as well. While housing prices are on the high side in Seattle, the city's tech community is tempting them to live there. Microsoft, Expedia and Amazon are just a few companies that offer work in Seattle. The city is rich in culture, and it features plenty of trendy things to do. From its standing as a coffee haven to its unique tourist sites, Seattle's atmosphere makes millennials feel at home.

What Cities Are Millennials Leaving? millennials-leaving
High living expenses along with jobs that aren't paying quite enough are causing millennials to leave some of America's most popular cities. Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City are on this list. Statistics show that in these cities, housing is quickly becoming unaffordable. For instance, in the nation's capital, an estimated 25 percent of renters spend more than half of what they make on rent. However, the burden of rising housing costs is not affecting every group equally. The numbers show that the high cost of housing in these cities is affecting some groups more than others, which is resulting in a sizable exodus of millennials.

Millennials currently have the highest move-away percentages. In Chicago, the share of millennial households that are leaving the city is 54.5 percent while the percent of millennials abandoning Washington, D.C., is 52.1 percent. New York City's numbers come in at 51.2 percent. Low-income groups also have higher move-away rates compared to others. Millennials often fall into this category because many of them are just beginning their careers.

Why Are Millennials Moving?
When surveyed millennials, the site found that about half of all millennials who rent are currently living in a different city than where they grew up or attended college. The survey also discovered that many millennials left their hometowns to reside in an urban environment. They enjoy living in a place where they have access to culture, unique restaurants, fitness studios and nightlife. More work prospects exist in cities. Urban areas also offer varied job opportunities. Of the millennials surveyed, 43 percent of them confirmed that they moved to their current city because of a job.

Just like every other generation, millennials are also moving away from their hometowns to be with a significant other. However, this reason was the second most common one for millennial moves. Career came in at number one, which suggests that millennials are slightly more career oriented than older generations were at their age.

About 20 percent of's survey respondents confirmed that they moved to their current location to be close to family. This shows that despite the generation's access to a stunning array of technological advancements that allow them to stay in touch with their loved ones remotely, being physically close to family is still important to many of today's millennials.

The last reason that the survey's millennial participants gave for moving to their current city was that they wanted to try something new. However, only 11 percent fell into this category. This may indicate that millennials are more practical than older generations claim because it seems like most young adults prefer a steady job or proximity to family when they make a big move.  

Misunderstanding the Living Preferences of Millennials
It's been a common line of thinking that millennials have a love of city living. Business analysts and government officials have long given credit to millennials for being a major driver of revitalization across the nation's urban cores over the last 10 years. It was thought that young adults preferred city life due to their appreciation of culture and public transportation. However, recent evidence shows that the love that millennials have exhibited for cities may have been fleeting. Life circumstances like growing incomes and parenthood are encouraging the generation to buy homes in the 'burbs.

According to demographer William Frey, millennials have been stuck living in cities because of the 2008 economic downturn followed by a slow recovery. Millennials have also been plagued with poor job prospects as well as declining wages. This double whammy has made it harder for them to purchase homes in suburban areas. High student loan debt is another contributing factor to the financial struggles of the generation as is the growing cost of living in some of the country's biggest cities.

It would seem that a number of observers have mixed up the presence of young adults in cities with a preference for living there. This same misconception involves their partiality for public transportation. Young adults don't necessarily prefer public transportation; they are just unable to afford cars. Millennials are also likely delaying marriage and putting off starting a family for the same reason.

The Appeal of the Suburban Lifestyle millennials-suburb
As with other generations, millennials want to move outside of urban centers and into single-family homes. They want space to play outside, and most millennials would prefer to live in a home with multiple bedrooms. Parents want to raise their kids in safe areas, and they are searching for good schools for their children. Like older generations, millennials are moving to neighborhoods with walking trails and other community features like fitness centers, local shops and man-made lakes.

Investors have already embraced the idea that young adults will go back to old behavior patterns that were made popular by earlier generations. For instance, investors are putting more money into real estate developments and auto companies.

Should Major Cities Convince Millennials to Stick Around?
To prevent cities from transitioning back into depressed areas, officials should be looking into ways to convince young adults to stick around. More affordable housing could keep some of them in the city while developments like "urban burbs" could tempt others to stay put.

Suburban developers invented the term "urban burbs" to describe city neighborhoods that include suburban and urban elements. Those who live in these communities have access to places where they can walk, a variety of home styles and transit-friendly areas. Cities like Miami, Portland and San Antonio are adopting these community characteristics to keep millennials in their midst. Western cities are currently doing a better job of convincing millennials to stay. The cities with the highest percentage of millennials include Austin, Salt Lake City and San Diego.  

Millennials are responsible for revitalizing many of the nation's cities. As this generation starts to embrace suburban areas, their communities will likely cater more to them. Older generations should get ready to enjoy farm-to-table eateries, acupuncture and yoga.