Austin had the most concessions, or renter perks, among the top 10 locales. Photo by Megan Bucknall on Unsplash

CultureMap Austin writes, "College grads living in Austin already have a lot on their minds this summer with job searching and career building, but at least they won't have to worry as much about where to put down roots: Austin is the No. 10 best U.S. market for new graduates in 2024, according to a new report by Zillow.

Zillow compared the rent affordability, job market, and demographics across the 100 largest U.S. metros to determine the best housing markets for recent graduates.

Although Austin is an obvious choice to live during college, it may surprise some that the economics checked out for sticking around after graduation. San Antonio did even better at No. 4. The Alamo City's real estate market has dramatically improved as a prospect for new graduates since 2023, when it previously ranked No. 60 nationwide in a separate report by ApartmentAdvisor; Austin fell slightly from No. 8.

The remaining top housing markets are located in Phoenix, Arizona (No. 1); Albuquerque, New Mexico (No. 2); Colorado Springs, Colorado (No. 3); and Portland, Oregon (No. 5).

Based on Zillow Rentals Data, the median rent price in the city is $2,300 per month. Moreover, the report found Austin rent prices add up to 32 percent of a graduate's annual income. This allows residents the flexibility to explore all of what the city has to offer, or to put money away for a future down payment, says Zillow economic research data scientist Anushna Prakash.

"Zillow's best markets for new grads are great places to kickstart a career and take the first steps of adulthood," said Prakash. "For renters who don't mind a housemate or two, renting a room can help save some extra cash and might even introduce lifelong friends."

Concessions — like a free month of rent or free parking — are another big factor that boosted San Antonio's ranking, as more than half (54.4 percent) of all rental listings in the city offer concessions. That's the third-highest percentage of all cities studied. Surprisingly, Austin's worst ranking was the strength of its job market.

San Antonio was the highest-ranked Texas city in the nationwide housing market analysis, with Dallas (No. 6) and Austin (No. 10) falling behind.

The top 10 housing markets for new graduates in 2024 are:

  • No. 1 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 2 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • No. 3 – Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • No. 4 – San Antonio, Texas
  • No. 5 – Portland, Oregon
  • No. 6 – Dallas, Texas
  • No. 7 – Raleigh, North Carolina
  • No. 8 – Denver, Colorado
  • No. 9 – Spokane, Washington
  • No. 10 – Austin, Texas
The full report can be found on"
Written by: Amber Heckler 
Published: June 24, 2024
Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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