New Kids on the Block: Why Millennials Are Choosing Suburbia
If you’re currently a city dweller but have sometimes caught yourself daydreaming about a yard or a tree-lined street, you’re not alone. Recent studies suggest that more millennials than ever are saying goodbye to their beloved urban centers and moving to the suburbs.
Experts seem surprised. Due to the general interest and uncertainty surrounding this generation’s unique motivations and interests, it was unclear what the future might hold as millennials get older. But the findings follow the same logic as in past generations: It turns out that as these individuals age, marry, and perhaps consider a family, spacious suburbia—with its smarter value cost of living—is still the logical choice. And, indeed, the median age of millennial homebuyers is 30.
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, which polled roughly 95,000 homebuyers, only 17% of millennials bought homes in urban or central city areas, down from 21% in the previous survey. Additionally, the simple desire to own a home is growing among millennials: 48% cited this as their primary reason for buying, up from 39% the previous year.
Not to mention, of course, the extreme cost and competitive nature of renting, buying, and living in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and more. According to CNBC, “The supply of homes for sale, especially in urban areas … is particularly critical at the low end, where millennials are likely to be buying.” The reasoning is that homebuilders struggle to make a profit on smaller homes and therefore are not too interested in capturing the first-time buyer market. Thus, millennials hoping to buy a home are looking to the suburbs where they'll likely be able to get more for their money.
Here’s the truth: As much as we love our bustling nocturnal cities, there’s something quite irresistible about having a tomato garden while also knowing you aren’t throwing away your life’s savings on monthly rent.
Buckle up, suburbia—the millennials are coming.
Where do you fall on the spectrum of city versus suburban dwelling? Tell us in the comments.