Perhaps that generational shift back to the city will take some time: a new survey shows a majority of millennials would prefer to live in suburbs.
Some demographers and economists argue that the preference of millennials, also called Generation Y, for city living will remain long lasting. And surveys of these young urban residents have tended to show that they don’t mind small living quarters as long as they have access to mass transit and are close to entertainment, dining and their workplaces.
But a survey released Wednesday by the National Association of Home Builders, a trade group, suggested otherwise. The survey, based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city…
The survey, which was released at the association’s convention in Las Vegas, found that 66% want to live in the suburbs, 24% want to live in rural areas and 10% want to live in a city center. One of the main reasons people want to relocate from the city center, she said, is that they “want to live in more space than they have now.” The survey showed 81% want three or more bedrooms in their home…
The survey results, though, could be skewed because they included only millennials who first answered that they bought a home within the past three years or intended to do so in the next three years. That excluded young people who intend to rent for many more years, which is a large and growing group, in part because of hefty student debt and the tight mortgage-lending standards of recent years.
Interesting twist there at the end – of those who have or intend to buy homes, the suburbs are still the place (and only 10% wanted to live in a city center) to go.
I do wonder at the three categories presented: city center, suburbs, and rural areas. While the last one is pretty easy to define, what is the boundary between the city center and suburbs? If I’m thinking about Chicago, does living in the city center include every part of the city of Chicago (which has a lot of neighborhoods of single-family homes) or does it refer to living in the denser Loop and right nearby?