Married friends of mine announced this week they were moving from their cute place in Arlington, MA. Not to New York or San Francisco, like the many previous relocations I've had in my circle, but to the suburbs. The news was accompanied by a map, slideshow, and public transit access points for us car-free city folk. As the upper age limit of Generation Y enters their mid-30s, will more Millennials follow in my friends' footsteps, or stay in the city?
The Urban Land Institute is releasing details of a survey this week, and they highlight a shift in home preferences in 18 to 34 year olds from previous generations. Millennials prefer proximity to public transit, walkable neighborhoods, and renting to buying in an urban setting. A key factor will be whether preferences change when the generation hits their maximum earning potential and has kids:
Patrick Phillips, ULI’s chief executive, said he suspects Generation Y is different than previous generations in that it won’t fully shift later in life to living in suburban, single-family homes. He noted that one early indicator of the longevity of Generation Y’s tastes will be apartment vacancies in the wake of the construction boom of recent years. Rising vacancies will hint that younger people are buying homes, perhaps in the suburbs. Minimal vacancy will indicate that they prefer to keep renting.
Have you moved from the city to the suburbs? Would you?
Read more: Is Generation Y a ‘Game Changer’ for Housing? | The Wall Street Journal