By Staff –
Rochester and other parts of central and upstate New York have been just under major market status for years. Though each metropolitan area in upstate and central New York has had its ebbs and flows over the years, thanks to an increasingly high millennial population, cities across New York could soon be more successful than ever before.
These metros aren’t growing because millennials are staying put, though; they are growing because millennials from all across the U.S. are relocating. According to Realtor.com, 61% of all home buyers in 2017 will be under the age of 35 years old. Also, two-thirds of all Americans between 18 and 29 years old have already relocated within the past five years, and many more plan to do so.
Growella recently released its list of Top 100 Cities for Millennials and it features plenty of New York cities, including Syracuse and Rochester.
Durham, North Carolina was the number one city on the list, with a millennial population of just over 100,000. And topping the list for New York is Syracuse, coming in at number six on the list and number two across the Northeast, with 86,000 millennials.
Albany is number 11 on the list and number three in the Northeast (with 132,000 millennials).
Buffalo and Rochester also crack the top 30 — with Buffalo coming in at 28 and Rochester right behind it at number 29.
The list was compiled using data from more than 70 public resources and figured out what might attract and retain millennials.
To determine each city’s score, various aspects were taken into consideration: how much time is spent commuting throughout the city, how many entry-level jobs are currently available, the city’s public transportation situation, the nightlife, how far a single paycheck can go, and how many other young people currently live there.
According to the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, though number 29, is certainly on the up thanks to the younger generation.
“We [Rochesterians] are like homing pigeons,” said Erica Fee, who lived for 10 years in London before coming back to produce the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival in its fifth year. “The big city can wear you down. There are only so many train delays you can take. It’s wonderful living in a big metro area, but you reach a point when you don’t want to commute 1.5 hours a day, and you want to purchase a house.”
Many Rochesterians have consistently found that over the last few years, whether they have relocated or not, the city has been improving and doing a great job of attracting and retaining younger people.
“I knew that I wanted to make cities more accessible, and I saw what makes a great place, what makes it vibrant,” said Laura Fox, an urban planner and vice president of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC), which encourages local businesses to move downtown. “Authenticity matters. These buildings are historical and have had many lives. That’s what is compelling about cities. It has a cascading effect that I think will continue.”
Although Rochester millennials will likely relocate closer to downtown, there are still plenty of young people hoping to buy houses all around central New York. In addition to these younger individuals looking for vibrant city living, they are also constantly thinking about improving their property once they are home owners. Even landscaping jobs, which can increase a home’s resale value by 14%, are being considered immediately after millennials close on a home.
“I think big cities are pushing young people out,” added Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the RDDC. “The costs, the daily grind of getting places, it’s pretty overwhelming.
According to Rochester First, the millennial population in Rochester grew by 8.8% from 2010 to 2015, more than any other city in New York and surpassing the entire U.S. growth of 6.1%.