Sacramento is suddenly hot property nationally among young people looking for a nice place to settle down.
A new study found that California’s capital city was the third most popular place for millennials to move in 2016, trailing only Seattle and Columbia, the capital of South Carolina.
That’s a notable turnaround in one year. Sacramento was not in the top 25 cities nationally in 2015.
The analysis of 2016 census data, conducted by SmartAsset, looked at net migration in and out of cities among people in their 20s and early 30s.
Sacramento was followed as a popular destination by Minneapolis, Jacksonville, Florida, and Newport News, Virginia. San Jose was the only other California city in the top 10.
Millennials, a group that rivals their parents’ baby boomer generation in population, are seen as a barometer of a community’s economic health, creating a solid workforce and enlivening an area’s entertainment and cultural scene.
“Where millennials decide to move has enormous impact on local markets, from the cost of a mortgage to whether or not you will be able to find a good avocado toast in your neighborhood,” analysts with SmartAsset, a national financial planning firm, wrote in their millennial migration report.
The SmartAsset analysis shows Sacramento had a net migration gain of 6,680 people between the ages of 20 and 24 in 2016. Most of them came from other California cities, according to the company.
Real estate analysts in Sacramento say the area likely is seeing an increase of young workers looking to escape higher housing costs in the Bay Area. Millennials, many of whom came of age during or just after the recession in the late 2000s, have begun buying homes in greater numbers in Sacramento in recent months.
But, others continue to struggle financially. Rising rental rates in recent years in Sacramento have made it tough for some lower-wage workers to find central city housing. That could change. The Sacramento metropolitan area is expected to lead the country this year in growth of new apartment units, new data show.