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Why Millennials are Moving to Raleigh, and Baby Boomers, too

There are good reasons why Millennials are moving to Raleigh. And not just Millennials, but Baby Boomers, too. So why are these two distinct generations converging all on the same city?  

It’s long been said that young and old alike, people just starting their careers and those just reaching retirement age, want completely different lifestyles.

That’s reflected in studies showing where retirees and millennials are moving.  According to most studies, the nation’s retiring Boomers and young Millennials are often headed in different directions.

Older homebuyers retiring from their careers are flocking to warmer climates in states like Florida and Arizona, looking for refuge from cold, snowy winters.

Younger homebuyers have been flocking to states like Utah and Texas, which have urban high-tech sectors ideal for jobs and employment opportunities.

But there’s one trend both sides are taking part in, and that’s how popular the city of Raleigh, N.C. has become with the young and old alike. The Raleigh-Durham area truly has become a city for all ages.

What’s so special about the Triangle region that both retirees and Millennials launching their careers both want to be there?

The reasons for why Millennials are moving to Raleigh are certainly the same for why Baby Boomers are moving to Raleigh.

As it turns out, there’s a lot of reasons.

Why Does Raleigh Appeal to Different Generations?

Why Millennials are Moving to Raleigh

Studies on home buying trends paint a clear picture for Baby Boomers approaching retirement: there are certain cities and states they want to get away from, and particular places many of them are flocking to.

Florida, for example, continues to have seven of the nation’s top 10 “oldest” cities – cities where older buyers are relocating.

But if there’s one city that keeps popping up on the list for both Baby Boomer and Millennial buyers, it’s Raleigh.

Raleigh is a Great City for Retirees

First, we know that Raleigh remains a great city for retirees. The weather is considerably milder than up north during the winter, and it’s not as hot in the summers as in Arizona or Florida.

At the same time, Raleigh is a great city for retirees who still want to be out and about. It’s got a great downtown, booming with plenty of cultural offerings and a truly amazing food scene.

Raleigh also made’s list of 50 best golf cities, so for retirees who love being out on the course, those mild winters are particularly enticing.

Add to that a very affordable cost of living, and it’s easy to see why Raleigh-Durham has become such a popular destination for many older Baby Boomers, and a top choice for retirees.

But they’re not the only ones relocating to this region.

Why Millennials are Moving to Raleigh

why millennials are moving to raleighAt the same time, Raleigh is also a popular destination for the youngest homeowners, people in their twenties who are fresh out of college and starting new careers. There’s a lot of reasons why they also see Raleigh as a top choice.

For millennials, a top priority isn’t necessarily a place with amazing golf courses, but a place with a good job base.

And in 2018, a lot of millennials came here for the strong job base combined with great cultural events. Raleigh is among certain urban economies that are booming with new business opportunities and innovative ideas.  

That’s particularly true of the Research Triangle, anchored by the major research universities of North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The area is renowned for Research Triangle Park, home to leading high-tech companies and enterprises. It’s why the area continues to attract young, skilled, educated workers looking for opportunities to grow their careers.  

Raleigh has consistently been ranked as one of the best metro areas for millennials looking to find jobs – and higher pay.

In fact, TIME Magazine recently included Raleigh in its list of the top 25 cities where millennials are moving, and the North Carolina city ranks higher than either New York City and Washington, D.C as a destination for young people.

TIME’s study indicates that Raleigh experienced a 4.2 percent increase between 2010 and 2015 in the population of millennials.

Clearly, the presence of the Research Triangle Park in and around Raleigh is a major draw for them. That’s particularly true for students attending those universities and graduating in an area that’s abundant with jobs.  

And right now, Raleigh is giving students and recent graduates a healthy job market.

U.S. News and World Report did something similar and looked at how well states are attracting young people. U.S. News measured the annual average growth rate of people ages 25 to 29 in each state between 2013 and 2016, to find out where they were moving, and North Carolina was one of the top 10 inbound states for them.

What Do Millennials Want in a New Home?

Research indicates that Millennials are approaching their first home purchase differently than previous generations. Today, what millennials and those of a younger generation are looking for a new home isn’t the traditional “starter” home, but what researchers have called a “forever” spot – meaning a home they can stay in for a long time, at least 10 years, or more.

They’re looking for homes that are close to places where they can be outdoors, while also close to cities with good cultural amenities, recreational opportunities, and jobs.

And just as we know that a lot of retirees are on the move, many of them fleeing the Northeast and Midwest so they can start a new chapter in life, we also know that it’s southern and western states drawing them in.

The annual National Movers Study showed Connecticut, New Jersey and New York were in the top 10 states with the most outbound moves. Among southern locales, the Carolinas experienced a very high percentage of inbound migration.

One of the strengths of the Raleigh-Durham area for both retiring Boomers and young people is home prices. Unlike in New York or Connecticut, where home prices have soared to levels that a lot of retirees and millennials can no longer afford, in Raleigh-Durham prices are still a major benefit.

According to Zillow, the median home value in Raleigh is $268,400, and Raleigh home values have gone up 5.8% over the past year. The median price of homes currently listed in Raleigh is $330,000, and the median price of homes that sold is $253,900.

That price looks particularly attractive to young people moving here because of the city’s strong, diverse and high skill economy, boosted by a growing tech sector.

At the same time, millennials are attracted to being close to downtown Raleigh, known for its many cultural attractions, great restaurant scene, and for museums, parks, concerts and other popular events.

The retiring Baby Boomers who don’t feel like ‘slowing down’ also love everything that Raleigh has to offer – from the restaurants to the local breweries to the golf courses.

North Carolina is one of few states that still have a reasonable median sales price. At the same time, home values in North Carolina appreciated more than 6 percent over the last year, and in the last two years, the average appreciation of home values in the North Carolina housing market was nearly double the national average.

That’s why has cited North Carolina as one of 10 states predicted to have a strong housing market in 2019.

In addition to the city of Raleigh, some of the suburban towns around the city are coming into their own as great places to live, including towns like Garner and Pittsboro. These are communities close to all the urban amenities that Raleigh offers, from the thriving downtown nightlife to the jobs coming out of Research Triangle.

They’re all beautiful communities offering more of a laid back, small-town feel, as well.


One reason why the Greater Raleigh-Durham area continues to grow is because so many people, from retiring Baby Boomers to Millennials, are discovering what longtime residents already know: it’s a terrific place to live.

And whether they’re just launching their career or coming to the end of one, young and older homebuyers alike are looking for a beautiful home in their price range and close to plenty of terrific cultural attractions.

The Raleigh-Durham area offers a complete package to them.

If you’re relocating to this area, have lived here a while and are ready to buy your first home, or are thinking about retiring here, contact us at Waterford Green Communities.

Our team of experienced home builders and community development professionals take a lot of pride in building homes in this region that are immaculately designed, appealing to families of all sizes, and won’t be a problem matching your budget.

Our team designs homes with the highest quality materials, and we believe that every family deserves a beautiful place to call home.

We’re here to answer all your questions about our new homes. Contact us today at 919-629-1329 and let’s get you started on the path to owning your new home.

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