How Trulia Determined the Top 5 Cities for Recent Graduates
Graduating college is a monumental milestone. But with rental prices across the nation at historical highs, and degree debt lingering long before grads receive their diplomas, finding affordable cities for recent graduates to call home at a young age is complicated. Now is the time when college seniors begin applying for full-time positions in anticipation of spring graduation. But before they send out their apps and start the interview process, they need to narrow job search down to location.
To help new grads determine the best place to live after college graduation, Trulia calculated rental affordability for employed college graduates between ages 22 and 25 years old. The most affordable metros only cost recent grads 31 percent of the local median income for that age group, including rental payment and renter’s insurance.
Phoenix ranked number 5 on the list of affordable cities for millennial graduates, with 8 percent of rental units within reach for recent college grads. For young people searching for apartments in Phoenix, the max monthly rent budget they should stick to is $613 per month, assuming they make the median income for their age group. For reference, the median income of new graduates ages 22 to 25 years old in Phoenix is $23,715.
Keep in mind, the median rent in Phoenix is $1,020 per month, so the median income needed to afford median rent is therefore $40,005. Consequently, recent graduates in Phoenix searching for an apartment that costs the median rent would need a raise of $16,290, or find a roommate – well, a partial roommate. Recent college grads living in Phoenix would need .7 roommates to pay the median rent if they were living on $23,715 per year.
While 8 percent of listings doesn’t provide a wide array of options for new grads, many do choose to share apartments with friends or coworkers early on in their professional careers to widen the search. And, compared to other rental markets out west and southeast, including California, Oregon and Florida, Phoenix provides a greater number of apartment listings for single apartment hunters.
Take Portland, for example, where the median income of new grads is just $18,560 per year. Just .1 percent of rental units are affordable to recent college grads. The max monthly rent payment new graduates should budget is $479 per month, whereas the median rent in Portland is $1,215 per month. Therefore, new grads living in Portland might consider finding two roommates to expand their search since the odds of finding a single, affordable unit in their price range are extremely slim. Otherwise, the income needed to afford median rent is $47,653, which means millennials fresh out of college must find an entry-level career paying $29,093 over the median for their age group, annually.
Cities for Recent Graduates Must Offer More Than Value
Phoenix makes sense for young people to settle down after college from a financial standpoint, but it’s not all about numbers. Phoenix offers young people a bustling downtown, a lively sports scene and adventurous biking and hiking trails, to name a few highlights. Activities, great neighborhoods and school districts makes Phoenix a great location to settle down well past your 20s, as well. The growing art community, represented with gatherings like Artlink’s First Fridays, and attractions like the desert botanical gardens are helping shape Phoenix as a cultural community for an array of personalities and professions.
Buying and Selling a Home in Phoenix
With a growing economy, Phoenix offers all age groups the chance to thrive, especially for individuals considering purchasing property. Median home sales price between October 15 and January 16 was $192,956, which is an increase of 10.3 percent from last year. And, the average list price on homes for sale in Phoenix was $336,352 for the week ending January 27, which is an increase of 2.4 percent from the previous week. Both short-term and long-term data shows list and sale prices in Phoenix are on the rise, representing a healthy real estate market for recent buyers and sellers.
If you’re considering searching for a home in Phoenix and are unfamiliar with the area, popular areas include Camelback East, Paradise Valley and North Mountain. The average list price in Camelback East is $692,569 whereas the average list price in Paradise Valley is $498,506. North Mountain is slightly less expensive, with an average list price of $247,613.
Ready to explore homes for sale or rent in Phoenix? Contact Rodica Bartels, a Trulia Top Agent with Century 21 Northwest who specializes in Phoenix, Peoria, Glendale, Sun City, and beyond.
Guest Post by Jennifer Riner of Trulia
Jennifer Riner writes about rentals, home improvement, and design for Zillow Group and other partners