Big city living isn’t for everyone. The best mid- to small-sized cities for singles are located near a major metro or large university.

  • Submarkets/suburbs of major metros cited as top cities for families
  • Markets cited as tops for singles are likely not going to see spikes in sales activity, as singles tend to rent more than own
  • There are a number of mid- to small-sized cities that are apparently very "livable"

Big-city living isn’t for everyone. The best mid- to small-sized cities for singles are located near either a major metro or large university, according to a report from

Top markets cited for singles included:

  • Carrboro, North Carolina (near the University of North Carolina)
  • Hoboken, New Jersey (near New York City)
  • West Hollywood, California (borders Los Angeles)
  • Oxford, Mississippi (home of the University of Mississippi)
  • San Marcos, Texas (home of Texas State University)
  • Ypsilanti, Michigan (home of Eastern Michigan University)
  • Ames, Iowa (homes of Iowa State University)
  • Miami Beach, Florida (just north of South Beach)
  • Athens, Georgia (home of the University of Georgia)
  • Moscow, Idaho (home of the University of Idaho)

These locales have a high percentage of unmarried people ages 20 to 34, a number of whom live alone. Generally, these individuals are more likely to rent than buy, so these findings are likely good news to multifamily owners in these markets.

Greg Henry /

Greg Henry /

When it comes to mid- to small-sized cities that might be prime for an uptick in home sales, the majority are submarkets of larger cities with a high population of families.

According to a separate report from, the top cities for families include:

  • Overland Park, Kansas (Kansas City submarket)
  • Plano, Texas (Dallas submarket)
  • Holland, Michigan (Grand Rapids submarket)
  • Carmel, Indiana (Indianapolis submarket)
  • Leesburg, Virginia
  • Chandler, Arizona (Phoenix submarket)
  • Naperville, Illinois (Chicago submarket)
  • Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Rockville, Maryland (D.C. submarket)
  • St. George, Utah

Ranking criteria was based on the volume of households with kids, crime rate, children in poverty rate, graduation rate, school rankings, kids’ programs, cost of living, commute time and walk score.

In mid-September, found that overall the top “livable locales” with a population between 20,000 and 350,000 were Rochester, Minnesota; Bellevue, Washington; and Madison, Wisconsin.

Email Erik Pisor.

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