Richmond, Virginia is most Millennial-friendly housing market

Richmond

Not only are Millennials living in Richmond, Virginia, the most likely to have moved out of Mom and Dad’s basement, a new analysis by Zillow shows these Millennials are the most likely in the nation to be able to afford their own place.

The Zillow editors looked at rents, incomes and a host of demographic data to conclude that 15% of Richmond Millennials live alone, just ahead of 14% in Pittsburgh and Buffalo. That’s significant because nationwide, only 9% of Millennials live alone, and that number has been going down since 2005 as rents have skyrocketed and home prices have risen faster than incomes.

Zillow says a combination of affordable real estate and a strong job market creates a condition that helps young people find an affordable place to live, and to do it without sharing an apartment with a roommate.

Zillow has found the percentage of 23-34 year olds living with family increased 46% between 2000 and 2013, accelerating in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Today, about 21% of Millennials across the U.S. are still living at home with their parents, suggesting that living with friends or family may be one of the ways to afford housing in some of the nation’s hottest markets.

Plenty of jobs and good pay

Richmond remains affordable for Millennials, Zillow says, because a labor market that has grown 4% in the last 12 months. The median income for a Richmond Millennial is $49,500, meaning they can afford more than 15% of all rental properties in the market.

“With home prices and rents rising as fast as they are, it’s a common assumption that young adults in many cases cannot afford to live alone,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Though that may be true in some markets, there’s still a large number of amazing places across the U.S. that are prime for Millennials to thrive independently. These are places where young adults can easily find jobs at a competitive salary, and where housing expenses won’t eat up the majority of their income, enabling them to save more.”

Besides Richmond, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, Zillow identifies Columbus, Ohio; Virginia Beach, Va.; Cleveland; New Orleans; Austin; Kansas City, Mo.; and Oklahoma City as metro areas where a significant number of Millennials live alone.

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