Madison’s growing tech industry is making it a top destination for millenials

When Tobi Silgman first moved to Madison 20 years ago, the city epitomized life in a college town. Yet to step outside of the palatial presence of the Capitol on State Street, or beyond the campus borders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presented the same picture of tidy yards and two-story homes ubiquitous to any other family-friendly suburb.

College grads, on the other hand, remained transitory.

“People who were single got the heck out,” says Silgman, a realtor at Madison-based Lauer Realty Group Inc. “Now, it’s completely changed. It’s a place where singles want to be.”

Today, Madison is billed as one of the country’s top destinations for Millennial homebuyers, both for its affordability and for its modern urban lifestyle. Nearly 75 percent of recent movers to the city were Millennials, and data suggests these buyers have every intention of sticking around, according to recent research from the National Association of Realtors.

So, what’s drawing millennials to Madison? Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says it all comes down to money. As of 2017, the median income for millennials who had recently moved to the city was $68,500.

“In comparison to other areas, Madison offers one of the highest wages for millennials,” Yun says. “Moreover, this income level combined with the robust opportunities and affordability, make Madison among one of the most appealing locations for millennials who are looking to stay longer and raise families.”

The opportunities Yun points to no doubt surround Madison’s growing startup and tech ecosystem.

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