With millennials stepping into prime home buying age and making up the largest faction of purchasers, they aren't necessarily focusing on the cities most suitable for their lifestyles.

While job opportunities and housing market forecasts are factored in, affordability and livability — a combination of environment quality, commute to work, education and crime rate — carry the most weight with these rankings, according to Clever Real Estate. About 80% of millennials have at least one regret about their mortgage, with high interest payments topping the list.

"Clearly, millennials need to find some new cities to live that are both affordable and appealing," Tommy O'Shaughnessy, head of research at Clever, said in the report. "To that end, we developed the Millennial Metric to help identify cities that strike the perfect balance between fun and affordability for young home buyers with limited means and high expectations."

Since costs stand as the biggest hurdle to homeownership, the generational demographic needs look past the popular metro areas lining the coasts. From Middle America to upstate New York, here's a look at cities offering the best opportunities to millennial buyers.

The data from Clever measures the 100 most populated metro areas in the country, each ranked in four categories; jobs, housing market forecast by Zillow, affordability based on Zillow's home value index, and livability. The weighted average is the "Millennial Metric" and is based on a 100-point scale.
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No. 12 Greensboro, N.C.
Weighted Millennial Metric: 63
Home affordability score: 90
Livability score: 53
Job score: 18
Housing market score: 53
Greensboro, N.C.
No. 11 Madison, Wis.
Weighted Millennial Metric: 64
Home affordability score: 41
Livability score: 83
Job score: 92
Housing market score: 83
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No. 10 Cincinnati, Ohio
Weighted Millennial Metric: 64
Home affordability score: 78
Livability score: 48
Job score: 52
Housing market score: 48
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No. 9 Harrisburg, Pa.
Weighted Millennial Metric: 65
Home affordability score: 77
Livability score: 75
Job score: 67
Housing market score: 75
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No. 8 Columbus, Ohio
Weighted Millennial Metric: 66
Home affordability score: 67
Livability score: 56
Job score: 63
Housing market score: 56
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No. 7 Akron, Ohio
Weighted Millennial Metric: 67
Home affordability score: 91
Livability score: 67
Job score: 42
Housing market score: 67
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No. 6 Syracuse, N.Y.
Weighted Millennial Metric: 67
Home affordability score: 96
Livability score: 80
Job score: 55
Housing market score: 80
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No. 5 Grand Rapids, Mich.
Weighted Millennial Metric: 70
Home affordability score: 64
Livability score: 79
Job score: 42
Housing market score: 79
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No. 4 Dayton, Ohio
Weighted Millennial Metric: 70
Home affordability score: 98
Livability score: 59
Job score: 50
Housing market score: 59
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No 3. Ohama, Neb.
Weighted Millennial Metric: 71
Home affordability score: 78
Livability score: 63
Job score: 64
Housing market score: 63
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No. 2 Des Moines, Iowa
Weighted Millennial Metric: 72
Home affordability score: 75
Livability score: 79
Job score: 88
Housing market score: 79
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No. 1 Rochester, N.Y.
Weighted Millennial Metric: 77
Home affordability score: 88
Livability score: 79
Job score: 51
Housing market score: 79
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