Millennials and Empty-Nesters Favor Renting in Cities

City living is arguably more popular than ever amongst young workers and empty-nesters who are scooping up new apartments in short order all across the nation.

Jobs and a strong real estate market are pulling Millennials to urban settings

There are simply more job opportunities with well-known companies that cities can offer compared to what’s available in suburban or rural settings. While the trend of young people moving to cities for work isn’t new, businesses are moving closer to cities to lure top talent.

In Seattle, big businesses like Microsoft and Amazon recently went on hiring sprees that brought an influx of new residents, many of which have settled into Pioneer Square, the city’s oldest neighborhood. To compete with this, lumber company Wayerhaeuser moved from 40 minutes outside Seattle to Pioneer Square as a way of providing a more attractive work location for their employees.

In Wisconsin, the residential real estate market has just recently recovered from the 2008 housing crisis. Suburbanites are selling their homes and moving to Milwaukee, either buying condos or electing to hold onto the capital from the sale and rent.

Empty-Nesters have different motivations for renting in cities

By the time many adult parents reach their 50s and 60s, their children have grown up and moved out of the house. While these empty-nesters are approaching the end of their working careers, moving to the city is an obvious way to reduce their daily commute.

Beyond that, empty-nesters who want to downsize their home find renting to be a suitable option, especially when they can enjoy all of the culture and arts an urban setting has to offer. Ease of access to shops, restaurants and medical facilities also holds wide appeal for empty-nesters, especially those who decide they no longer need an automobile to get around.

The steady influx of young and old people to cities raises some concerns

In cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore, the demand for apartment rentals has been so strong that some buildings are selling out all of their units or the vast majority of them before the leasing period is scheduled to end.

Despite the steady migration of young and old people to cities, some economists have raised flags about possible overdevelopment – while the rental boom has been great, if it sputters out, developers could face financial hardship and struggle to pay their debts. In February, the Federal Reserve noted “growing concern” about the volume of commercial property development, including large apartment buildings, in New York, Boston and San Francisco.

With that said, developers aren’t showing any signs of slowing down, meaning the prospects of finding an apartment in your favorite city are very strong right now.