Turns out, millennials are just like their parents
If you believe the hype, millennials are killing at least 70 different things, from the Scion brand to America and potentially even democracy in general. But recent studies suggest that millennials aren’t actually all that different than their parents. They just needed a little more time to get there.
A recent Zillow study found that those supposedly childless, car-less, city-living, forever-single millennials are actually settling down, having kids, moving to the suburbs, and buying large SUVs. The report cites student debt, a tough job market, and tight lending standards as the main reasons millennials delayed their move to the suburbs. But as millennials find more stable employment, pay down student debt, begin building their savings, and consider starting families, they’re changing where they choose to live and what they choose to drive. In fact, half of all millennial homeowners reportedly live in the suburbs.
“Millennials are delaying major life decisions, such as getting married and having kids, but today they are the largest generation of homebuyers in the market,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s head economist. “Despite the urban lifestyle millennials may have sought in their twenties, they’re nearly as likely as older generations to settle down in the suburbs. In many ways, what we’re seeing is that millennial home buyers have preferences that are very similar to their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.”
Ford says a survey it recently conducted shows millennials actually prioritize settling down in the suburbs and buying a family-sized vehicle over other milestones like living in a major city or being able to rely on public transportation. This survey also showed that older millennials and young Gen Xers prefer medium and large SUVs over smaller vehicles. With the birth rate continuing to increase among that same 35-44-year age range, and many more millennials than Gen Xers, there’s little chance that demand for large vehicles will drop off anytime soon.
Industrywide, Ford says large SUV sales are up 11 percent this year, while midsize SUV sales are up 9 percent. Small SUVs trail much further behind, only increasing 4 percent.
Of course, for people who haven’t spent the last several years complaining that millennials accepted the participation trophies their parents insisted they get, this news shouldn’t be that surprising. The cost of a college education has exploded, leaving your typical college graduate with around $35,000 USD in student loans. That gave millennials a pretty serious debt to pay off before they could start saving for a down payment, having kids, or buying a new car.
But now that they’re starting to dig themselves out of that hole, it turns out, the things millennials want aren’t that different after all.
Source: Zillow, Ford