Opinion: Millennials buck conventional wisdom, head to the ‘burbs

Coming soon to a hipster couple near you? (Retro Clipart / Dreamstime / TNS)

Hmmm … do you think this might have any relevance to a metro area grappling with the issues of transportation, education, affordable housing, etc.? From Bloomberg:

“Millennials are finally starting their own baby boom and heading for the suburbs in big sport utility vehicles, much like their parents did.

“Americans aged about 18 to 34 have become the largest group of homebuyers, and almost half live in the suburbs, according to Zillow Groupdata. As they shop for bigger homes to accommodate growing families, they’re upsizing their vehicles to match. U.S. industry sales of large SUVs have jumped 11 percent in the first half of the year, Ford Motor Co.estimates, compared with increases of 9 percent for midsize and 4 percent for small SUVs.

“‘We do see that demographic group driving larger sport utility sales as they acquire homes, create families and gain some wealth,’ said Michelle Krebs, an analyst at car-shopping website Autotrader. ‘They started with compact sport utilities and now, with families, they’re moving up.'”

I have been skeptical of sweeping statements about an entire generation — plenty of adult millennials have lived in rural and suburban settings for some time now — but most especially the popular notion that millennials were going to make decisions that were dramatically different from older generations once they got to the point of starting families. As the article acknowledges, millennials have delayed those decisions more than previous generations. But the oldest millennials are reaching their mid-30s, settling down, and acting in a very familiar way. Also from the Bloomberg article:

“More millennials are expected to move up into bigger SUVs with three rows of seats and enough cargo space for strollers and portable cribs. Sales of midsize SUVs will grow by 16 percent between now and 2022, while deliveries of the biggest rigs — think Ford Expeditions and Chevrolet Tahoes — will jump 25 percent, according to a forecast by researcher LMC Automotive.

“Millennials ranked having children, buying a suburban home and driving a big family vehicle higher in terms of importance than living in a major city or relying on alternate forms of transportation in a survey that Ford conducted in June.”

The ramifications of this shift in preference could be huge, particularly for metro Atlanta. Voters in the city of Atlanta last year approved a new sales tax to raise some $2.5 billion for mass transit, in large part on the premise that millennials were demanding more transportation options. That could still be true, but the types of options they want may differ if they’re going to the office from the suburbs rather than across town. (A multi-line streetcar network, for instance, may make even less sense than it did before.) And even if the new SUV drivers are still willing to get out of their cars occasionally, planners and policy makers may need to put even more emphasis on connections to the suburbs.

Gentrification has been billed as a potential savior for Atlanta’s public schools. But if couples who lived intown as younger adults are forced outward due to soaring prices, especially in the best school zones, that’s not going to happen. There’s anecdotal evidence that some of the influx along the Beltline, for example, represents empty-nest baby boomers flocking to the city now that they needn’t worry about the schools their children attend. (And although Paul Morris recently lost his job as head of the Beltline because of too little progress with affordable housing, the problem is far bigger than the 5,600 lower-priced homes that are supposed to be built as part of the popular redevelopment project. What’s more, it’s not at all clear the types of affordable housing envisioned for the Beltline, the vast majority of which would surely be multifamily housing, would be the kind to keep young families in the city.)

That’s not to say cities should just give up. A big, sweeping statement about millennials favoring the suburbs may also be too simplistic, and even a small shift toward urban living could be significant. But cities’ pitch to millennials may need to change as that group ages and begins raising families. It’s time for urban school systems to get more serious about innovation and choice, for instance. Transportation options will need to address the everywhere-to-everywhere travel patterns that already exist today and stand to be reinforced, rather than counting on greater acceptance of density. More cities and counties need to be competitive in their tax policies, especially when it comes to property taxes.

It may be still be true that millennials want something a little different from what older generations sought — just not quite what those older generations, who still make most of the decisions, thought they wanted.

Reader Comments 0

161 comments
bolu
bolu

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breckenridge
breckenridge

@JohnnyReb 

National Enquirer?

HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!!

HO HO HO HO HO!!!!!!!!!


HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

If you think all the hoopla over the Confederate monuments, the neo's, KKK, and Antifa is happenstance, you are an idiot of the highest order.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

What the far-left posters fail to recognize is that Trump ran as a nationalist not as a Republican. The squishy Republicans aren't going to risk their reelection chances nor will the Democrats hanging on by a slim thread in red states. I think the Trump, strategy is exactly that, a strategy, You're going to lose.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit  Nationalism is an empty promise. We're far too divided and diverse for that to be effective. Trump is a master of empty promises. 

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @Starik Against Hillary, yes. I hope he loses this round in the primaries, if he's still there.

MarkVV
MarkVV

The stupidity of SGTGrit has no boundaries. His recent diatribe against me, after I denounced his denigration of Sen. McCain’ war history, is a prime example.

“John McCain, cast the sole vote that saved Obamacare for now.”

John Mc Cain’s vote was only one vote of the 51 who voted against that travesty of a bill, which even some Republicans called a fraud.

“You've never served in the military much less a war.”

You know nothing about me, what and where and when I served. I am not a bragger like you.

You are just a pathetic, mean-spirited, ignorant follower of your lying, ignorant, incompetent Leader. Why don’t you compare Trump’s military record with McCain’s?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@MarkVV 

Diatribe against you? No you wouldn't be worthy of a diatribe. I merely called you a hypocrite which you are. Evidently that was sufficient enough to hurt your sensitive feelings. Pretty much all of what I had to say dealt with my reply to your allegation that I denigrated McCain's military service. I didn't denigrate his service I merely put it into its proper perspective.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @MarkVV  McCain served honorably, even heroically. Quite a contrast with Trump, Bush and Clinton. You're just annoyed that he stood up to Trump. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Starik @SGTGrit @MarkVV 

Sarge seems to think that all Senate republicans should have voted for the proposed healthcare bill.  But the job of any Senator, first and foremost, is to represent his constituents. He must also do what he thinks is the right thing.  And if that conflicts with the party then that's just too damn bad.

 

 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @SGTGrit @MarkVV 

I think McCain served honorably I wouldn't say that he served anymore heroically than any other combat veteran. I identified the ones who served heroically as POW's in North Vietnam. McCain was not recognized as being a part of that heroic group. True war hero's are special people recognized for going well beyond the call of duty. As for the political side of McCain, I felt that he did a grand stand when he wouldn't indicate which way he was going to vote but hinted that he leaned toward passage. He then held those present and those observing in suspense waiting for the final vote which was his. The rest is history and not the first time McCain played political theater in the senate. That annoyed me.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @Starik @MarkVV  His selection of Sarah Palin was really bizarre. I'm not a fan, but he did save the country from Trumpcare. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge @Starik @SGTGrit @MarkVV

I know you post without complete knowledge of the facts but the Republican Senate that included those who recently voted against repeal all voted for it I believe 50 times over the previous 7 years.of Obama's time in office. In fact they all campaigned on repeal during the last mid-term. Kind of hypocritical wouldn't you say?

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit @breckenridge @Starik @MarkVV 

You are confusing the House of Representatives with the Senate.

And another thing......the idea that Trump and republican Senators are going to work together is false. Trump is at war with these republicans, and his well on his way to being completely isolated, a man without a party and no advocates in Congress.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge @SGTGrit @Starik @MarkVV

rkVV

You're correct it was the House that voted numerous times, however, the Senate did vote on it a few times in spending bills where repeal was included and those senators voted for it and they campaigned on repeal.  

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @breckenridge @Starik @MarkVV  The problem was the "replacement." During all those votes the Republicans didn't have a plan, and were unable to come up with one that wouldn't deprive tens of millions of medical insurance. We'll get to single payer eventually. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit @MarkVV You wrote the denigrating comments about McCain in response to McCain words about the pardon of Arpaio.So stop lying about what you are doing. McCain did not talk about his war service when he made that comment, so why did you bring it up? What that got to do with McCain opinion about the pardon? But that is the sleazy way you operate here. I make a comment about a subject here, and your response is questioning my service. You are bragging about yours, but you are a disgrace to it, and a pathetic mimic of the lying Leader you follow.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit @breckenridge @Starik @MarkVV 

The way to get cooperation is not to go around bashing people.  And that's what Trump has done - not just McCain but Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Dean Heller and Lindsey Graham. They're not going to go along just to get along.


Next up: funding for the wall.  That's not going to happen. And it should not because it will not work. Build a wall and someone will find a way to under, over or through it.

Starik
Starik

@breckenridge @SGTGrit @Starik @MarkVV  Maybe if he builds the damn thing he can declare the border "secure," legalize the illegals and change the immigration laws. Perdue's proposal has some merit. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

@MarkVV @SGTGrit 

Sarge always does that.  Anytime I mention Trump hiding under his bed during the Vietnam War he tries to make it about my military service.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge @SGTGrit @Starik @MarkVV

Like I said, how is this handful of senators going to block the Trump agenda that these people supported without jeopardizing their reelection chances? Think about it.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@MarkVV @SGTGrit 

Never have bragged about mine, though I cited it. You, evidently can't do the same.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge @MarkVV @SGTGrit 

When where and how did you serve? I asked what you did after 9-11 and you haven't answered yet you call into question the military service of others. I'm going to continue calling you out.
Get used to it,

bu22
bu22

@breckenridge @Starik @SGTGrit @MarkVV  And Collins did that.  On the other hand,  Murkowski and McCain lied to their constituents and then voted to keep Obamacare when the vote counted.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Progs going nuts over pardon of Sheriff Joe.

A decade old lawsuit finds a liberal judge who orders the Sheriff to stop his illegal immigrant tactics. 

Joe says no, is denied a jury trial, and gets sentenced for criminal contempt of court - a misdemeanor.

Trump pardons Joe and as usual the Progs start yelling and whining about racism and bigotry.

You lost the election dummies based at least in part on your open borders beliefs.

Never in history has there been such a bunch of sore losers.  

breckenridge
breckenridge

@JohnnyReb 

You characterization is completely wrong. Jeff Flake is not a liberal. Neither is John McCain. Neither is Paul Ryan. Etc.

It's the radical extremist bigot punk racist garbage that supports Trump's pardon.  They are cowards. They are gutless punks.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb 

They're not just sore losers they're losers in every way. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge @SGTGrit @JohnnyReb 

You do an excellent job defining far-left liberalism. I encourage you to keep up the good work in assisting your fellow losers in convincing real patriotic Americans to reject your failed ideology.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge @JohnnyReb

Jeff Flake is history come his next primary.

McCain has always been the Left's best friend.  He should retire for medical reasons before becoming an even bigger embarrassment.

Ryan is like a reed in the wind and it would not surprise me to see him booted from speaker.

What you and your ilk do not realize is, you are not the majority, we are.

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

@JohnnyReb  In comparison to the misdeeds of many of the ~20,000 people who received Presidential pardons/commutations in the 20th Century alone (including armed robbers and murderers) the alleged misdemeanors of Sheriff Joe seem trivial indeed. 

Dems would probably like for us to forget that Jimmy Carter restored the citizenship rights of Jefferson Davis. And that Bill Clinton pardoned his brother.

The beat goes on.

Starik
Starik

@JohnnyReb @stogiefogey  Both sides engage in selective memory. The question is defining the "sides." I prefer far left, far right and center.