Why Millennial’s Matter

By Chris Hall, Hallmark Communities, BIA Board of Directors
Say what you want about Millennials, but they are highly important to our industry and to our economy. Some quick facts, depending on the article you read Millennials are broadly defined as born between 1982-2000. Millennials represent the largest generation in the history of the US, larger than the Baby Boomers.

 

It has also been highly publicized that Millennials are holding off on family creation later into adulthood than previous generations. The reasons for that are an article in and of itself. Whatever the reason, family creation is typically the first step towards home purchasing. While Millennials may be having children later in life, by all accounts they are still having kids. The delay is just a blimp on the radar, those families are being created and their demand for housing will come or has already started.

 

So why are Millennials so important to San Diego? Because we’re losing them by the thousands to more affordable housing markets. In fact, out of the top 53 metros in the country, San Diego ranks as the 4th worst in net migration of Millennials over the past five years (3rd worst in the five years prior). The top five metros for Millennial migration include more affordable housing markets Denver, three metros in Texas (Houston, Dallas and Austin), and Seattle.

 

Not only are we losing the largest segment of potential homebuyers, Millennials are also our future workforce. If local startup companies, and there are a lot of fantastic ones, run out of qualified candidates they will be forced to move to those cities and states that have them. And current companies looking to move or grow will also land in the places with the most abundant young talent.

 

With the way our current housing policies are being shaped to either luxury housing or subsidized housing, we’re squeezing out the middle-income buyer. We tend to associate middle-income buyers as teachers, firefighters, and nurses which is true. But there is a difference between a 30-year veteran of the police force and a 25 year old recent graduate of the academy. If we continue losing Millennials, we will run out of people to buy/rent our homes and makeup our workforce.