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High Rents In Hippest Cities Forcing Millennials To Share Housing


Just 10.4% of Millennials (ages 23 to 34) live alone in San Diego County, mainly due to high rents, according to a new report from Zillow that used US Census information. Millennials comprise 31% of the Downtown San Diego population, according to the Downtown San Diego Partnership, but a survey by Rent Jungle found Millennials' favorite stomping grounds are among the highest average rents in the region: Little Italy, $2,984; North Park, $2,895; Cortez Hill, $2,843; and East Village, $2,587.

Nationwide, the number of Millennials living with family or friends increased 46% between 2000 and 2013. Since 21% of them still live at home, it appears shared-rent situations are allowing more than half to live away from home, suggested the Zillow analysis.


The most likely places to find Millennials living alone are: Richmond, VA, 15%; Pittsburgh, 14.3%; Buffalo, NY, 14.2%; and Columbus, OH, 14%. In California, the least likely places to find them living alone are Riverside, San Jose and Los Angeles, at 6.1%, 6.5% and 8.1%, respectively. Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell says this study proved there are still markets where rents do not exceed Millennials’ ability to afford an apartment without sharing rent.

Svenja says there's still a large number of places across the nation prime for Millennials to live 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," she says. Those places include Cleveland (13.9%), New Orleans (13.4%) and Austin (13.4%)


The University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate has forecast San Diego rents will rise 2.9% during the next year, while Zillow is forecasting a 3% rise in rents nationwide. Average rent in San Diego is $1,627/month, according to JLL San Diego’s latest multifamily report.

Still, high rent is not preventing Millennials from moving to the nation’s hippest urban centers. San Diego ranked ninth in a June survey of Millennials' “Perfect City.”