Hottest Cities for Millennial Renters

Hottest Cities for Millennial Renters

Most millennials are renters, and have been shifting away from the two-kid, white-picket-fence American dream. This means they’re also less likely to get tied down to a specific city. So where are the hottest cities for millennial renters?

RentCafe analyzed 13 million renter applications nationwide to identify the cities where millennials represent the highest share of those who applied for apartments.

“Specifically, we focused on large and mid-sized cities — where millennials represent 38.5 percent of applications — and ranked them based on each city’s share. Finally, we looked at the hottest cities for millennial renters in 2020 to get a snapshot of the emerging hubs where this trend-setting generation is heading next,” RentCafe said in the survey.

Here are the main findings about millennial renters:

  • Austin is set to dethrone Seattle to become the next No. 1 millennial city. This year, more than half of the renters who applied for an apartment in the Texas capital were millennials (50.5 percent).
  • Seattle, the capital of the millennial nation for five years, dropped to fourth place in 2020.
  • Oakland made an astounding entrance into the list of top 15 future millennial hotspots, shooting straight up to 3rd place with a 48.4 percent share of millennials applying for apartments there in 2020.
  • Philadelphia, San Jose, Virginia Beach, and Los Angeles are new additions to the top 15, replacing cities like Denver, Atlanta, or Portland, whose popularity among millennial renters might be dwindling.
  • Despite the looming tech exodus, San Francisco stays strong. With 48.6 percent of all rental applications coming from millennials, the city maintained its second spot in 2020 by attracting a significant share of New York’s millennial renters (8.2 percent) in the last five years.


Now that they’ve officially overtaken baby boomers as the largest U.S. generation to date – as well as making up the majority of the workforce – millennials have become the most instrumental group in shaping the future of America’s urban cores.

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