I’m seeing a lot of focus recently on Millennials.
First, I was interviewed for this article. After about thirty minutes on the phone during which I felt I said all kinds of interesting things, the reporter decided that brevity was the soul of wit and distilled my comments: http://seattletimes.com/html/homesrealestate/2022051165_hrerentersowners20xml.html#.UmVzjkc2TF4.facebook.
The longer version of what I said is that we used to have four general markets for downtown condo dwellers: committed urbanites, downsizers, 2nd home buyers, 1st time buyers hoping to use that purchase as a stepping stone into townhomes/single family homes. In the downturn, that fourth category saw their dreams dashed; there was a year or two in which we heard very little from them. Even the youths (“the two _yutes_”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1QpyGa61zs ) who didn’t purchase saw their friends/older siblings get hurt and so have come back in somewhat reluctantly and with an aversion to: total monthly housing expense higher than current rent, rental caps, potential future assessments, potential loss of view.
Then, I read an interesting article in The New Yorker, penned by a Millennial, about my hometown, San Francisco. What most took me was the full-on embrace of self-direction; of owning one’s own time, perhaps of living genuinely. A dear friend pointed out how exhausting it must be to hold three different jobs and then to have to find an unique, artisanal hobby to add to the mix. Agreed. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/14/131014fa_fact_heller
And finally, today’s insight from Inman News, possibly writing off the entire generation when it comes to homeownership: http://www.inman.com/2013/10/24/cant-find-work-or-save-for-a-down-payment-are-millennials-becoming-real-estates-lost-generation/ For some reason, the fear seems a bit overblown to me, but…the assertion that “adolescence actually extends to about age 25” is fun to consider.
The “news” isn’t all that much a surprise. The balanced nature of the article – reduced supply, increased demand, but acknowledging “shadow inventory” – is refreshing.