If you haven’t been keeping count, the millennial generation is—almost—all grown up. The youngest, born in 1996, will be turning 24 this year, and the oldest, born in 1981, will be 34. As this unique generation enters its next stage of life—a stage potentially involving marriage, kids, and higher salaries—researchers are watching closely to see where they’ll head to next. And all the data collected so far shows that, like their parents before them, millennials are ditching huge metropolises for cleaner, greener pastures. In today’s post, we’ll discuss how many are leaving, where they’re going, and what this means for Raleigh investment property owners.
According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last year, big cities lost about 27,000 young adults in 2018. A “big city” was defined as a city with more than 500,000 residents—such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston—and a “young adult” was defined as a person between the ages of 25 and 39. More alarmingly, 2018 marked the fourth consecutive year with such a noticeable decline. Although a quick Google search turns up plenty of claims that millennials are flocking to big cities, census data suggests the reverse is true.
Luckily for Raleigh property owners, census data also shows where those young people are moving to: mid-sized cities that are still urban, but smaller and more affordable. The most popular millennial destinations included Denver, Austin, Nashville, Portland, and, you guessed it…Raleigh! All of these cities are known for having a vibrant, youthful population; a thriving urban scene; and housing that, while not cheap, is not prohibitively expensive. And with populations that hover around the 500,000 mark, instead of high above it, there’s a lot more room for newcomers to move their elbows, too.
Census data also showed that millennials are increasingly migrating to suburban areas, as well. But the line between a “suburb” and a mid-sized city was not well defined. Speaking to CNBC, tax policy expert Cathy Koch noted that the two terms are not mutually exclusive. “The ‘suburbs’ may very well be smaller cities close to larger urban areas…these still afford the richness of city living, including employment opportunities, at maybe lower home prices.”
Even though the world has been thrown into some uncertainty by the coronavirus outbreak, this data shows that Raleigh isn’t down-and-out—not by a long shot. In fact, an argument could be made that in terms of cities, we are among the most well-positioned to survive and thrive in an economic downturn. With a population of about 474,000 people, we are just barely under the “big city” qualifier; we offer all of the advantages of a sparkling urban center, without metropolitan drawbacks such as crowding and congestion. Our nationally-ranked universities and technological hubs like the Research Triangle Park continue to draw educated, professional young adults from all over the country; adults with families, needs, and purchasing power. Finally, although Raleigh has been criticized for being less artistically-focused than some of its neighbors, our STEM specializations would be an advantage in a recession, as medicine and technology will always be human necessities. In conclusion, if you are considering purchasing an investment property sometime soon, Raleigh is an excellent choice.
Barker Realty, Inc. has provided leading real estate management and property services to Raleigh residents since 1984. We help both experienced and first-time property owners select lucrative real estate options, and provide any property management services they might need. To learn more, please click here.
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