Suburbs Draw Millennials Wanting More Space

January 23, 2015

Millennials deep down may be suburbanites after all. In recent years, economists and demographers have argued that members of Generation Y will have a longer love for city living in smaller living quarter than their predecessors. But a newly released survey by the National Association of Home Builders discounts that, suggesting that what millennials really want is a single-family home outside of the urban center – just like other generations.

The survey of more than 1,500 people (born since 1977) found that 66 percent of millennials want to live in the suburbs; 24 percent want to live in rural areas; and only 10 percent prefer to live in a city center.

“While you are more likely to attract this generation than other generations to buy a condo or a house downtown, that is a relative term,” says Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president of survey research. “The majority of them will still want to buy the house out there in the suburbs.”

One of their main draws to suburbia? They “want to live in more space than they have now,” Quint says. Eighty-one percent said they want three or more bedrooms in their home.

“The preference for the suburbs suggests that future demand will be in the form of single-family homes rather than condominiums more prevalent in cities,” David Berson, chief economist with Nationwide Insurance Co., told The Wall Street Journal. “That’s also good news for future suburban single-family sellers, many of whom are baby boomers.”

NAHB’s survey reflected responses only from millennials who purchased a home within the past three years or intended to do so soon; the survey did not include responses from young people who  intend to rent for several more years.

Source: “Generation Y Prefers Suburban Home Over City Condo,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 21, 2015)