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Gen Y needs a new kind of home

By John Kirchner May 12, 2011

There’s a great item by Nancy Egan in the latest issue of Residential Architect magazine with some thoughts on where the residential housing market is going. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a link to an online version. But it’s worth recapping briefly.

A key issue for architects to consider is the pig in our demographic python. No, not the Baby Boomers. They’ve gotten so much attention over the decades that most people don’t realize that Gen Y (currently aged 18 to 30) is an even larger group than the Boomers.

Those 80 million Gen Y’ers are economically challenged, with high debt loads, poor employment prospects and a general malaise about the economic circumstances of their young adulthood. But Gen Y hasn’t abandoned the dream of home ownership, according to research by the ULI.

What they do want is a different kind of home: smaller, affordable, energy-efficient. Modative Architecture in Los Angeles has shown one approach with its small-lot subdivision homes, calling them “starter homes for Gen Y.”

Marvin supports this kind of new thinking with innovative, efficient products like the Ultimate Casement Window, the Tripane with Krypton and the Ultimate Glider.