College Grad Looking for an Apartment? Check These Cities First

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — College graduates are hitting the streets this summer looking for a good job in their chosen field and a good place to call home when the workday is done.

The job part of that equation is tough enough. According to The Wall Street Journal, the unemployment rate for Americans 25 and under is 22%, adjusted for the decline in the labor force since the start of the Great Recession.

The "place to live" part of the equation is easier, but only marginally.

The National Association of Realtors looks at multi-family housing and finds plenty of cities where vacancy rates sticking below 5% in coming quarters and considered by landlords as "justifying higher rents."

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"Average apartment rentals are likely to increase 4.6% this year and another 4.6% in 2014," the association says.

Grads may see some help in the form of Apartments.com's recent Top 10 Cities for Recent College Graduates list.

"We have been compiling this list of best cities for recent college graduates annually for the past six years," says Dick Burke, senior vice president at Apartments.com. "Each year, we adjust our methodology to ensure we are reflecting ever-evolving economic and social trends on a regular basis. This year's efforts have resulted in a list that represents affordability in tandem with professional opportunity, while taking into consideration the all-important-youthful culture and demographics that appeal to recent grads."

Here's how Apartments.com rates the rental picture among U.S. cities on a "quality of life" basis, along with the average price for a one-bedroom apartment rental:

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1. Phoenix, Ariz. $708
2. Orlando, Fla. $857
3. San Antonio, Texas $794
4. Columbus, Ohio $ 634
5. Austin, Texas $1,006
6. Raleigh, N.C. $788
7. Oklahoma City, Okla. $722
8. Fort Worth, Texas $795
9. Dallas, Texas $983
10. Minneapolis $1,177