San Carlos Named the Best City for Millennials to Relocate in California.

September 18, 2020

Per Zippia

Articles that position San Carlos as the “Best of” this or the “Most of” that always pique my interest. You'll recall a while back when Redfin released a questionably researched article that deemed White Oaks the most competitive neighborhood in the Country. While I didn't disagree with the fact that White Oaks is indeed an extremely competitive neighborhood to buy into, I highlighted some egregious errors in Redfin's decision criteria. But this isn't about Redfin.

Zippia, a career-search website, recently published an article that names what it believes are the best cities in each state for Millenials to relocate. They named the top 10 cities in the country, and then compiled a list of the best city in each state. San Carlos did not make the top 10, but it was indeed named the best city in California for millennials to relocate. I can hear the gasp of disbelief of fellow parents as I write this.

For the sake of discussion, Millenials are defined by Wikipedia as having a birth date between 1981 and 1996.

The Criteria

The site states that they used the following four criterion to rank the cities:

  1. Median Income.
  2. Percent of Millennials in Poverty.
  3. Unemployment Among Millennials
  4. Median Home Price.

What surprised me about San Carlos' inclusion to this list was not items 1-3, but definitely #4. As the father of two Millennials and a Gen Z, I know that my kids will never be able to relocate back to San Carlos, even if they wanted to. Many fellow parents that I know share the same disappointment about their own kids' predicament.

Part of what triggered my surprise is the data that they are used for this calculation. According to the table from the site, the “Average Home Cost” in San Carlos is $1,541,900. That is sooooooo 2015 — literally. The last time the average cost of home in San Carlos (including townhouses and condos) was $1.5M it was back in 2015. Today that figure sits closer to $1,900,000. Not that it really matters — neither price is what I would refer to as “affordable”, even after the higher incomes are factored in. Most Millennials probably only wish they had the $400,000 down payment, let alone the income to afford a $2,000,000 house.

What's also alarming from the data is the ratio of average income to average home cost. For virtually all of the cities on the list, it runs anywhere from 0.11 to 0.20, meaning that the average income is roughly 11%-20% of the average home cost. San Carlos? Try 5.9%. San Carlos was the only city of the 50 listed that had an average sales price that with 7 digits, too.

So while I'd love to believe that while San Carlos is indeed a great place to relocate for Millennials, it makes me wonder how many of our own Millennials are truly able to relocate here, or would just be returning to the mother ship? Do you agree with the nomination of San Carlos to this list?

In case you missed the earlier link, you can read the entire article by clicking here. I'd LOVE to hear your opinion on this — feel free to leave a comment below.

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  1. RR on November 21, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Regarding your take on the zippia article. A couple things – if all the people who can afford these steep prices are millennials, it is correct to say that it is a hot bed for Millennials. That doesn’t mean all millennials can afford it. Millennials like all other age groups are not created equal . Secondly, millennials also span 15 yrs and can have a wide range of incomes depending on that. So the millennials born in 1996 may not be able to afford SC but the ones born closer to 1981 sure can.

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