Study Reveals Best Markets for Each Stage of Life

Senior mother and African American daughter carrying cardboard boxes in new house

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Some housing markets are proving a big draw to certain age segments and growing into millennial, Gen X, or baby boomer hot spots.

For example, Austin, Texas, ranks number-one with millennials while Miami comes out on top for Gen Xers, according to a new study. Pittsburgh is the favorite among baby boomers. Only two markets—Austin and Knoxville, Tenn.—were metros that made two lists, according to a new study from Knock, a real estate technology company that helps consumers buy a home before listing their current house. Knock, a homebuying and selling website, was selected for the 2021 REACH class, a technology accelerator program through Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of REALTORS®.

“The rise in remote work has given many people the freedom to rethink where they want to live, opening up options for those willing to explore new cities that offer relative affordability, growing economies, and access to the amenities important to them,” says Sean Black, CEO and co-founder of Knock.

Knock’s research team compiled its rankings by evaluating the 100 largest metro areas and factoring in affordability, housing availability, and characteristics identified as important to each stage of life.

The top markets for millennials tend to have greater affordability, strong job markets, and vibrant downtown areas. Knock identified the following top 10 markets as millennial meccas:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Des Moines, Iowa
  3. Charleston, S.C.
  4. San Antonio, Texas
  5. Atlanta
  6. Providence, R.I.
  7. St. Louis
  8. Winston-Salem, N.C.
  9. Charlotte, N.C.
  10. Spokane, Wash.
The leading markets for Gen X tend to offer plenty of career opportunities, top-notch schools, and plenty of family-friendly activities. The top 10 markets for Gen X are:
  1. Miami
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Knoxville, Tenn.
  4. Portland, Ore.
  5. Boise, Idaho
  6. Omaha, Neb.
  7. Raleigh, N.C.
  8. Phoenix
  9. Salt Lake City
  10. Boston

The leading markets for baby boomers tend to be prime spots that offer affordability and tax friendly advantages, good healthcare, diverse economies with part-time employment opportunities, and plentiful culture and recreational activities. The top markets for baby boomers, according to Knock’s study, are:

  1. Pittsburgh
  2. Lansing, Mich.
  3. Knoxville, Tenn.
  4. New Orleans
  5. Birmingham, Ala.
  6. Augusta, Ga.
  7. Greenville, S.C.
  8. Palm Bay, Fla.
  9. Jacksonville, Fla.
  10. Tucson, Ariz.