Millennials have been singled out as the stuff cities are made of, but Dowell Myers, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy, says the real estate industry should be bracing for a shift back to suburbs…
In a study published in late April in the journal Housing Policy Debate, Myers examined Realtor surveys and various sources of federal data…
Myers, however, found that circumstance was the likely driver of urban living: Three cycles — one demographic, one economic and one housing-based — converged in the 2000s to drive millennials into downtowns.
All three have reversed their effects, he said.
If this holds up, two possible consequences:
- Cities have worked hard in recent decades to appeal to young, educated adults – the Creative Class, in particular. If this group doesn’t move to cities in as large of number, who will cities try to attract? They may still go for wealthier empty nesters and retirees who can purchase housing and contribute to the tax base. But, they don’t quite have the same benefits as vibrant, motivated young people.
- If they aren’t going to the big cities, suburbs and suburban developers will increasingly look for ways to attract this demographic. Denser, more vibrant suburban areas could be appealing as they offer “city-lite” living. This could lead to more smaller yet having-all-the-features suburban housing.