5 Great Cities for Gen Y'ers

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- With mobile phones, mobile computing, Foursquare and GPS, "Generation Y" seems like it's always on the move -- but where should its 20- and 30-something members be moving to?

Move Inc. ( MOVE), parent company of Realtor.com and other relocation-oriented Web sites, recently assessed dozens of U.S. cities for everything from nightlife to average apartment rents to find five great places for Gen Y'ers to live. Also called millennials because they've come of age since the year 2000, Gen Y'ers are young adults in their 20s and early to mid-30s.

"We're finding that millennials look at buying homes differently than baby boomers do," Move's Julie Reynolds says. "Where baby boomers look at homes more as investments, millennials see housing as more of a lifestyle option. More millennials are living closer to where they work, closer to the central part of towns and focus on cultural activities and other things to do other than just work."

So Move assessed cities for such things as parks, museums, professional sports teams and other recreational offerings.

The firm also focused on communities with nearby colleges and universities, as many Gen Y'ers are looking for undergraduate or graduate-study programs.

And since many Gen Y'ers are just starting out and need jobs and affordable housing, Move found cities with low unemployment rates, modest average rents and affordable median home prices.

"We looked for communities where the local real estate market has either hit bottom, is very, very close to the bottom or has already begun rebounding," Reynolds says. "We figured Gen Y'ers might want to 'test drive' a community as renters, then put down some roots and buy their first homes if they like it."

Lastly, the site picked communities in states a recent U.S. Census Bureau study identified as the top relocation destinations for Americans.

Click below for an alphabetical rundown of the five cities Move recommends for Gen Y'ers. Median property prices refer to asking prices on Realtor.com as of May and exclude mobile homes. Average rents reflect listings on Rentbit.coms, and local jobless rates are U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures as of May.

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