No suburbs, no cry
Will our suburbs become the next generation American ghost towns? It’s possible, as analysts predict that today’s young apartment renters want to reside much closer to city hubs than ever before – and away from the suburbs where they may have grown up.
Even as they approach the “household formation” phase, renters in their 20s and 30s are staying away from the pleasant and perhaps boring ‘burbs, opting to stay where the action is. And they’re willing to settle for smaller apartments, pay higher rents and delay marriage and families to embrace this urban lifestyle.
Why is this happening? Here are a few, totally non-scientific-but-based-on-social-reasoning theories we came up with off the top of our heads.
-Generation Y wants to fly away from their helicopter parents. The “other” lifestyle, whatever is alternative to one’s upbringing, is typically considered cooler by youth, so children of Baby Boomers are looking for a less sheltered existence than they had as kids.
-Creation of “friend families” is bonding younger people together in cities. This is a generation for whom “Friends” was an important influence. We grew up expecting our most important social connections to be with other individuals our own age, and not necessarily have them revolve around relationships.
-We are non-committal. Apartment living is less common in suburbs than it is in cities, and suburban apartment communities can lend themselves to boredom and isolation. In the city there is always something interesting to do not far away, and you (usually) don’t have to make plans more than a few hours in advance.
-We’re just poor. Do you have savings for a down payment? Do any of your friends? Joblessness and the still recovering economy have hit all Americans hard, but for the youngest workers it has been harder to get established in a solid career and start making the money required to purchase a home.
What do you think? If you’re avoiding the suburbs for city living, what’s your reasoning?