Flickr user Jerry Ferguson

Millennials are on the cutting edge of a great inversion happening to U.S. urban areasMany white Millennials and Baby Boomers are leaving their suburban roots for central city downtowns, while people of color and immigrants, who have historically lived in inner cities, are relocating to the suburbs. Living downtown allows Millennials, who are delaying or rejecting marriage and parenthood at higher rates, to have new experiences, meet new people, and be in walkable, amenity rich and transit-accessible neighborhoods.

Downtowns are changing in response to Millennials, but we know less about how or why these changes are occurring. This report reveals how real estate developers are helping to attract and retain Millennials in the downtowns of two central cities, Phoenix and Houston, which are emerging sites of Millennial migration. We draw findings using data from the U.S. Census, regional media, and interviews with 22 experts involved in Phoenix and Houston’s downtown housing markets.