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Millennial homeowners attracted to certain places

July 31, 2014

Millennials are a sought-after demographic for a wide range of industries. From the professional ranks to the housing market, young adults between the ages of 20 and 34 are a driving force in the nation's economic recovery.

Denver continues to attract millennial homebuyers.
But what attracts millennials to a particular place?

The Denver Business Journal reported that millennials want to live in environmentally-sustainable cities that offer easy access to housing, public transportation and daily necessities. Typically, they want all this within a close radius to their place of work.

“The reality is that studies show the millennial generation wants to live and work ... within a three-mile radius of an authentic city center,” Tami Door, president and CEO at Downtown Denver Partnership, told the Denver Business Journal.

From 2012 to 2013, Denver notched the fifth best growth rate for the 20 to 34 age bracket, according to Forbes. Denver had a 2.5 percent growth rate during that span, which was more than double the national population growth rate for that demographic among the nation's 100 largest metro areas.

Trulia said Denver continues to attract young adults because of its nightlife, ease of navigation and outdoor activities.

“It's a conversion from old-school to new-school economic development,” Door said. “Build the place, build the transportation, integrate sustainability, and you will attract the companies anyway.”

From city to suburbs

But in a surprising turn of events, many millennials are no longer looking to purchase a home within a major city. Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia, said there's a growing movement for millennials to head to the suburbs instead of major metro areas.

“The differences aren't huge, but there's clearly no mad rush to the cities—despite the shift from homeownership to renting among these young adults,” Kolko said.

Kolko added that dense cities with more than 2,000 households per square mile were overshadowed by big-city suburbs and lower-density cities with 1,000 to 2,000 households per square mile.

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Other cities attracting millennials

Colorado Springs, Colorado, finished atop Trulia's list for young adults. Colorado Springs, like Denver, is a hotspot for millennials because of its job growth and long list of available outdoor activities.

The second hottest city for millennials—according to Trulia's report—is San Antonio, Texas. The city was in demand among young adults for its job growth potential and variety of entertainment and nightlife options. Forbes listed San Antonio No. 11 on its Best Places for Business and Careers list. The city was also among the top 10 metro areas for prospective employment growth.

Peabody, Massachusetts, and Honolulu rounded out Trulia's top five hottest cities for young adults. Peabody, which is 30 miles outside of Boston, finished fourth on the list. It offers millennials the chance to live near a major city without some of the downfalls:  traffic, pollution and a high cost of living.