During a short break today, I read a little of the internet news, and happened upon an article on the subject of the changing tastes of the millenial or Gen-Ys when it comes to what they prefer in housing. To the surprise of the researchers, this young generation seem to prefer living in the city rather than the suburbs and the size preferences tend to be smaller. Another factor seems to be that they have witnessed the housing bubble of the 2007 – 2008 and are more aware of the market swings.
What delights me the most about these new tastes is that they seem to be more concerned about their homes proximity to shopping and work. They don’t want to needlessly waste money on gas and even look for availability to public transportation.
I visited with a developer today about this and he mentioned that in metro areas, downtown upper scale housing that is close to the historic districts sell and rent for far more due to the proximity to shopping, work, and entertainment. One of my clients some years ago moved to a warehouse that was converted to upscale condominiums in downtown Seattle and was shocked at what they paid for the 1,200 square foot unit. That condo has likely doubled in price since they purchased it.
Getting back to the article I read today. It also mentioned that the older generation still tends to gravitate toward larger yards and distance in commute to the larger city. The children prefer to leave their parents and grandparents in the hinterland with their big houses on large lots.
So it appears we have opposing generational likes in housing. I guess we can still continue to grow our communities in spite of our living in cross worlds.