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Where is Gen Y Living?

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It is often assumed that Millenials are living in the downtowns of large cities, and although that’s sometimes the case, new research sponsored by UDR, Inc. and published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) shows that the demographic tends to live in less centrally located but more affordable neighborhoods. Many are making ends meet working jobs for which they may feel over qualified, and are living with parents or roommates to save money, reports ULI.

Of the 1,270 Millenials surveyed, 70 percent of those who do not yet own a home expect to become homeowners by 2020, and most expect to use the money they have saved for a down payment, reports REALTOR Mag – evidence that Generation Y is staying optimistic.

Neighborhoods with urban characteristics, such as those that feature walkability, transportation alternatives and easy access to shopping and entertainment are most appealing to Millenials when looking for housing. Yet, downtown areas don’t seem to be an option – likely due to high costs.

Key Findings as reported by Urban Land Institute:

  • Only 13 percent of Gen Yers live in or near downtowns; 63 percent live in other city neighborhoods or in the suburbs.
  • Fifty percent are renters, paying a median rent of $925.
  • Twenty-one percent currently live at home, and of those, 42 percent moved back home after living independently. Only 10 percent of those now living at home expect to still be there in five years.
  • Fourteen percent live in households with three generations of family members.
  • Eighteen percent of all Millennials and 27 percent who rent share housing with roommates. However, 58 percent of those with roommates would prefer to live alone.Sixty-percent work full-time; and an additional 15 percent work part-time; however, 27 percent feel they are underemployed.
  • Thirty-eight percent consider themselves savers; 30 percent, spenders; and 32 percent say they are both.
  • Eighty-three percent own automobiles (lowest percentage of owners, 74 percent, are in the Northeast; highest, 88 percent, are in the South)
  • Virtually all expect to own a home eventually, even though they are not necessarily convinced that housing is a good investment.
  • Nine out of ten expect to match or exceed their parents’ economic circumstances.