Millennials find a Home

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Millennials find a Home

In a 2011 article, renowned demographer Joel Kotkin, referred to Millennials (the generation born between 1982 and 2000) as “the Screwed Generation.” Not since the so-called Greatest Generation entered the labor market during the Great Depression has a generation had to deal with such bleak prospects relative to preceding generations. To this point, this has forced many to dial-back their expectations and take a different path in life.

As a result, many experts have asserted that millennials do not want to buy homes or live in suburbia; Fast Company, saw this as “an evolution of consciousness” and Morgan Stanley looked forward to profiting from millennials who would be satisfied to live within a “renter-ship society”

But millennials, as noted in a recent paper from the Center for Opportunity Urbanism by Anne Snyder and Alicia Kurimska, aren’t embracing downward mobility. On the contrary, they are increasingly creating their own aspirational strategies. Some are doing this consciously, by ignoring elitist urban planners and establishing homes for themselves in suburban and Sun Belt locales once considered “insufficiently hip.”

And, despite the hype from the press, millennials are following in the footsteps of previous generations by locating on the periphery of major metropolitan areas and Sun Belt cities, most of which are simply agglomerations of suburbs.

This pattern seems certain to accelerate as millennials enter their thirties, the age when contemporary populations tend to marry, settle down, and have children. To be sure, notes Pew Research, more 18-to-34-year-olds now live with their parents than with spouses or “significant others” for the first time since the question was first asked in the 1880s. But when they do leave the nest, albeit later than in previous generations, they are becoming adults whose collective decisions are not so different from those of their parents.

It turns out that millennials did not, in fact, reject homeownership because of any “enhanced social consciousness,” but simply because of become a paid subscriber for full access.
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