07 May Is Generation Y Our Savior?
A recent Builderonline.com article asks the question, “Can Gen Y Save Home Building?” The answer to this question may not be as cut and dry as some would think. The answer also depends on what kind of homes your talking about.
Generation Y is no doubt a powerful group. As the article notes, this group took down the music industry and put our current president in office. Their influence and buying power rival that of the baby boomers and most of these eco-boomers are about to be new-home buyers. This sounds like an industry stimulate but experts are hesitant to rejoice.
It’s not a question of will but one of ability. The post recession world will be a limiting place for Generation Y. A large number have been unemployed and others have seen their down payment help from mom and dad vanish. Another interesting thing to think about are the lingering baby boomers that are postponing retirement. The recession has caused most boomers to delay retirement keeping them in the workplace longer. Not only have we seen minimal employment opportunities for Gen Y but because baby boomers are delaying retirement, job turn over is at a low.
Researchers have done plenty of studies on Generation Y because they understand the market power they have. These consumers are tech savvy, eco-minded, diverse, urban, and social minded. All of these characteristics will play into their housing choices. This article brings up a good question though. Should we be building to suit just the needs of Gen Y today? How sustainable is this?
In the end price and need will play a more important role in the buying process. Gen Y will soon have kids. Will we see them move towards the suburbs once their kids enter school? This plays an important role in the home buying process and most cities don’t have good public schools. It will be interesting to see how this generation handles growth.