Last year was like no other, but young Americans still needed to work and to get some downtime. Being more mobile than other age groups, millennial renters are able to move between cities to find jobs, good rental accommodation, and maybe a healthier lifestyle too. You might well find flourishing high-tech hubs like Seattle, Austin and Atlanta attractive, but Philadelphia also generated particular interest in 2020.
Moving around the country for work has long been a part of life in America. And millennials — born between 1981 and 1996 — will do this more than others as they are less likely to have family ties. If you work in IT, or in any job which could be moved from a communal office to a home computer, you probably had an advantage during the pandemic-triggered shelter-in-place restrictions. Possibilities for remote working are aided by the flourishing digital economy, but they are not equal across all states and cities, and neither are costs of living, so if you want a change of scene, choose your new location wisely.
Based on anonymized rental application data sourced from RentGrow, Inc., a study by STORAGECafé shows that many US cities saw considerable numbers of incoming renters in 2020. The evidence of around 1.7 million renter applications between January and November in 2020 indicates that 18% more renters changed residences than did so in 2019. Of these, 69% were looking for accommodation in the same state, though this varies considerably nationwide. Millennials made up 48% of renters looking to relocate last year, some preferring the largest cities while others opting for places that could save them money and yet offer them a very good life.
Millennials Still Attracted To The Nation’s Largest Cities
We all know that millennials are particularly drawn to the buzz of city life — the study showed that two thirds of them prefer moving to urban environments rather than suburbia. Los Angeles saw the most renter applications from all age groups in 2020, with 40% coming from outside California, and of those, 70% from New York City and 74% from Chicago were millennials.
New York City was the second-most popular destination for renters on the move in 2020, and a very high proportion of them, 77%, came from outside the state. Of the renters arriving from Jersey City, no less than 85% were millennials, one of the highest percentages nationwide. The originating city which supplied the second-highest proportion of millennial renters, 79%, was the notoriously pricy San Francisco. The Big Apple is clearly still a magnet for the young and ambitious.
Chicago ranks third in terms of renter moving habits, with roughly 60% of them originating from another state. No less than 73% of those coming from New York, for example, were millennials, and you too would appreciate a cost of living that is 22% lower — it is somewhat pricier than in several of the other common originating cities, such as Indianapolis and Baltimore, but you’d find the Windy City’s higher salaries a compensation.
Millennials Look For Great Job Opportunities And Lower Costs Of Living
Atlanta has gotten itself the name The Silicon Peach in recent years on account of its burgeoning tech sector, and among the renters it saw arriving last year, 60% were millennials. Of the top 10 originating cities of these incomers, New Yorkers were the only ones from outside Georgia. If you were one of these — 65% were millennials — you would have on average experienced a 6% increase in earnings and a 22% reduction in their costs of living — enjoy!
In Texas, fewer renters looking for new homes came from out-of-state, overall, but there were exceptions. For Austin, with its legendary music scene and growing tech sector, 84% of newcomers from New York City were millennials. Denver, CO, also experienced mostly in-state moves from new renters, with the exception of Chicagoans, 81% of whom were millennials. If you took one of these routes, lower tax burdens and some wonderful scenery were waiting for you.
Washington is another state without income taxes, and it might offer you some tempting high-paying jobs. Accordingly, Seattle saw plenty of renters expressing an interest in moving there from other states last year, and of those coming from Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles, 84%, 77% and 73%, respectively, were millennials. Washington state also has plenty to offer you in terms of culture and outdoor activities.
Millennials From Big Cities Have Been Eyeing Philly!
But Philadelphia, although it didn’t see as much interest from out-of-town renters as most of its big city rivals did, received some very high percentages of millennials from other urban areas. Of those coming from San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City, no fewer than 93%, 77% and 76%, respectively, were millennials. Not to be left out, of the renters looking to relocate to Philadelphia from Baltimore, DC and Boston, 76%, 75% and 71% were millennials.
If you arrived in Philly from The Big Apple last year you would have experienced a healthy 19% decrease in your cost of living — not at all bad. Overall, 72% of those relocating to Philadelphia came from a different state, which is one of the highest rates in the country. If you choose to come and live in The Athens of America, the thriving local Philadelphia self storage sector can help you move in and also utilize your living space to maximum advantage.
Many millennials still aspire to a lifestyle in one of the US’s largest cities, but you might also appreciate smaller urban places that offer a good way of life and more money in your pocket. New York and the big West Coast metros can be particularly expensive, and others may offer you a better deal, with well-paying industries that are on the up. Taxation regimes matter, and the proximity of some great outdoor space is especially welcome during times when everybody has been affected by movement restrictions. Philadelphia in particular, with its diversified economy, historic attractions and comparatively reasonable cost of living, proved to be particularly attractive for millennials from the nation’s largest cities last year. To quote the city’s motto, let the brotherly love continue!