It’s totally acceptable, if not the norm, for recent college grads to live at home. Saving rent money while navigating first jobs and internships, all while still benefiting from home cooking, sounds like a financially (not to mention, gastronomically) savvy plan. But living at home isn’t just for a younger crowd anymore: According to a new Zillow report, more millennials are living with mom now than ever before.
Researchers examined people who fall in the 23 to 37 age group and found that nearly 22 percent of American millennials still live with either their mothers or both parents. This comes out to 14 million people total, purportedly the highest number since 2000. The reason, predictably, comes down to money. Rent prices are on the rise, and saving for a down payment is daunting.
“While it might be tempting to stereotype these young adults as lazy millennials bumping off mom, the data paints a different picture,” said Zillow senior economist Sarah Mikhitarian in the report. “When the housing market went bust, young adults increasingly returned to their childhood home. This trend has continued in the face of rising housing costs and deteriorating affordability.”
That said, there are certain real estate markets that are proving particularly difficult for millennials to break into. Per the study, the percentage of millennials who still live with their mothers is highest in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York. If you find yourself in any of these markets, living at home and dreaming of your own Wes Anderson wallpaper–filled space, you may want to consider moving to a slightly more millennial-friendly locale. Here are some cities to consider.
If you’re a recent grad…
Consider Cincinnati. The city was named the best spot for newly minted young adults, with monthly median apartment rents weighing in at just $585. There’s a bustling arts and culture scene, too, with places like the Contemporary Arts Center making the list of must-visits.
If you can’t afford Miami but don’t want to give up the sun…
The equally sunny Orlando is a great place for millennials to settle down—for their first home, anyway. With affordable median home prices and a good number of entry-level jobs, moving to this Floridian city is a smart choice; plus, with nearby areas like the stylish Winter Park neighborhood, you’ll still have fun while knowing your wallet is safe.
If you’re all about the culture…
There’s a reason that Austin is such a trendy destination. Named the best overall city to live in by U.S. News & World Report, it has several facets that make it particularly perfect for a younger crowd. From a bustling food scene (think beyond just barbecue) to wellness-centric activities (from an impressive amount of things to do outdoors to cool shops like apothecary Sabia), there’s more than enough to keep the always-busy millennial entertained.