For young professionals searching for a place to live that is not only affordable but their best bet of becoming homeowners, Forbes Advisor compared 99 of the most populous metros to look at employment and pay, housing affordability, lifestyle, and cost of living.
All the top 10 metropolitan areas have home prices below $400,000, and eight out of 10 have unemployment rates of less than 3%. Forbes Advisor calculated the estimated monthly mortgage payment for each area using the metro’s median home price, a 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 6.5%, and 10% down.
The top 10 metros for young professionals include:
Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
With a median home price of $265,300, the metro’s estimated monthly mortgage payment sits at $1,509. An average rental for the Des Moines area runs $1,103 per month, and the median age is 36.4 years old.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The median age of Oklahoma City is 35.7 years and ranks ninth for lowest rent among the top 100 metros at an average of $1,114 per month. The median home price for OKC is $227,300 with a $1,293 estimated monthly mortgage payment.
Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa
Slightly higher than Des Moines, the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro’s median home price is $274,100, with a $1,559 estimated monthly mortgage payment, or average rental rate of $1,184 per month. The median age for the area is 36.1 years old, and it has a low unemployment rate of 2.2%.
With a median age of 36.2 years old, young professionals can take advantage of Columbus’ $1,265 average rental rate or $284,700 median home price, with an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $1,619.
While the metro has a higher cost of living, renting and buying is lower than the national average at $1,163 per month or an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $1,434 for the area’s median-priced $252,200 home.
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin
Posting an unemployment rate of 2.9%, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro has a median home price of $361,500, with an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $2,056, and average rental rate of $1,241. The median age trends higher at 37.2 years old.
Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas
The Kansas City area is affordable for young professionals—at an average age of 37.6 years—with a median home price of $291,000 and an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $1,655. The average monthly rent is $1,236 per month.
Ranking fourth lowest for unemployment rate at 2.2%, the metro offers an average rental rate of $1,663 monthly and an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $2,035 for a median home price of $357,800. Baltimore’s median age is 38.6 years old.
The Nashville metro has the highest median home price of $385,500, with an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $2,194. The median age for Music City is 36.6 years old, and the average monthly rent is $1,469.
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Arkansas
Boasting the lowest median home price of $203,000 and an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $1,154, Little Rock’s average rent isn’t much lower at $1,117 per month. The median age for Little Rock is 37.3 years old, and it offers a 2.3% unemployment rate.