Monday, September 22, 2008

Generational Studies

I feel vindicated. People thought I was crazy proposing that we'll see more inter-generational homes in the future. There were two key factors precipitating that prediction. First, I knew a lot of people were about to lose their home. And as this article points out, Boomers are doubling up families in "Crash Pads" according to this report:
Boomers are getting squeezed from both ends, he says. "They loaded up on mortgage debt during the good times, and calculated their retirement assets based on inflated home prices. Now all that paper wealth is gone, they're stuck with white elephants, and the end of their peak earning years is in sight."

Scott says the housing bust could be lengthy, and painful. "The collapse of the 1980s took seven years to work itself out. In the next seven years, some 30 million boomers will reach retirement, many unprepared."
And, the second factor is the Millenials' family-oriented characteristic. Here is the original presentation I put together for internal housing market research:
(click on each image for more detail/legible text)
Millenials have a tendency to take ownership of everything around them, potentially from a pampered or spoiled upbringing. They even create their own language:
The most important thing to understand with generational studies is that they are cyclical, each generation being more a reaction to those previous than an amplification, which is why I refuse to use the term Gen Y.
There are always individual outliers, to get to know a generation, know the statistical center of gravity. It doesn't make you smart to say, well I'm not like that therefore this or that is false, or "I know somebody that isn't like that."






The full weight of Millenials are just graduating high school and college now. There full effect on society won't be realized for a number of years.







Boomers and the crisis they brought, fake money fiasco financing their obsessive need for junk accumulation.

We are currently leaving the unraveling stage and about to hit full crisis mode.











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Millenials have the potential to be the biggest generation ever, depending upon when you cut off the back end (no two studies say the same thing). My opinion is that the involvement in this election is truly the defining point of this generation (that is, if Obama wins- huge favorite and instigator in this resurgence of young interest in politics - which was predicted by generational theorists). Therefore, any child/teen that became involved, which anecdotally seems to include a great deal of 12- to 17- year olds that won't be of voting age.
They were mostly raised in bland, disconnected suburbia and they are looking for the opposite as they move on from college. They seek diversity, activity, and urbanity.



[and they're high on caffeine]









Important point here. Millenials are the most amenable to forgoing personal space and luxury. They will take small apartments just to be in the middle of the city. They will take on roommates. And, as mentioned above, they are willing to live in multi-generational households.








The urban housing market, I predict, will get very competitive. One idea is to forgo parking provision and instead save on costs by marketing shared car programs, communal Vespa/Moped programs, or even a free bike with signing a lease.

[ignore the mullet, jean shorts, and antiquated PC monitors. either pretend this is a contemporary live-work unit or this guy is just in Oklahoma.]

Be creative about spatial arrangements and furniture design in smaller, more flexible, open unit plans.