Many housing observers agree that Generation Y—people from 18 to 34 years of age—largely prefers downtown living, often in rental apartments with easy access to walkable neighborhoods and public transportation.
The real question is whether they’ll outgrow those tastes once they earn higher salaries and have kids.
The Urban Land Institute plans to release the results of a survey highlighting Generation Y. The survey polled 1,202 U.S. adults from Jan. 16 to Feb. 3 of this year.
ULI heralds Generation Y with nearly 80 million members as a potential “game changer” in the U.S. real estate market. Of survey respondents in that age range, 59% said they prefer their neighborhood to have a variety of housing types; 62% favor mixed-use developments with shops, restaurants and offices; and 52% like pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
In addition, 55% of Generation Y respondents said close proximity of their home to public transportation is important. The survey found that Generation Y is more likely than older generations to live in apartments and in downtowns, with 54% favoring renting and 39% favoring city living.
While Generation Y is the most likely to move in the coming years, they’re also the most likely to go through significant life changes. Few have yet reached their maximum earning potential. And many haven’t had children, meaning they’re probably not yet focused on the quality of schools near their homes.
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.
Generation Y, and even Generation X of 35 to 47-year-olds, have substantial personal debt on average and haven’t reaped the massive home-value gains that older generations did in previous booms. Thus, many younger adults likely are renting rather than buying.
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Excerpts - Wall Street Journal