Saturday 22 July 2017

Millennials want a better way of living - and this will be reflected in housing

The next generation are not 'doomed to rent', they are just different - and we ignore this at our peril, writes Conor Skehan

CHANGE: Millennials increasingly value city-centre living, which means making complex trade-offs between enjoying an urban lifestyle and enduring its costs, such as higher rents, smaller apartments or using public transport.
CHANGE: Millennials increasingly value city-centre living, which means making complex trade-offs between enjoying an urban lifestyle and enduring its costs, such as higher rents, smaller apartments or using public transport.

Conor Skehan

A survey in 2011 for the Halifax Building Society coined the phrase 'Generation Rent' to describe those born in the 1980s who felt that they'd never be able to afford a home - despite nearly three-quarters wanting to own instead of rent. Less widely reported is that those surveyed also acknowledged that they were aware of becoming 'more European' by regarding rent as the norm.

This same group is also called the 'Millennials' - a self-aware, complex, super-smart generation with very different outlooks and values - often characterised by deferring important life stages such as marriage or household formation. Younger Millennials are sometimes called 'Generation Snowflake' on account of their severe sensitivity and associated sense of entitlement.

These generational labels arise to help us to deal with the reality that different generations have different values and behave differently.

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