We Are Tired of “Sharing” Our Parents’ Spare Bedroom!

As a member of the "Sharing" generation, Mike Willinger takes on the difficulty of understanding the generational definitions of Millenials, Baby Boomers and Gen X. Those definitions are really too broad for those trying to understand and target specific groups, 

By Mike Willinger

Senior Consultant, John Burns Real Estate Consulting

The sharing generation and Mike Willinger on demographic trends

I am a Sharer. At John Burns Real Estate Consulting, we use the term “Sharer” to mean someone who was born in the 1980s and who is currently 26– to 35-years old today.

There are 44 million of us in the US, and I have outlined our defining characteristics below:

  • We share our likes and location on social media. (This is sometimes me.)
  • We share rides on Uber or vacation rentals on Airbnb. (I know I do.)
  • We believe our education is not paying off yet due to a poor economy and high student debt.
  • While the Great Recession made us more educated, practical, and thrifty, we are less likely to commit—especially when it comes to home purchases. (Certain of these characteristics certainly describe me.)
  • Many of us share a home with our parents and are delaying marriage and children, thus delaying household formation and homeownership by 5+/- years. (No and yes for me.)
  • We are close to our parents. This is in part due to the advent of the birth control pill, which was approved in 1960 and resulted in a sharp drop in the number of children per household. (I am definitely close to my parents.)

The sharing generation and housing

The sharing generation and homeowner growth by generation

As Sharers, we are an important demographic decade that will greatly impact the housing industry.

In 2015, we headed 18.8 million households in the US, including 7.4 million owned homes and 11.4 million rented homes.

While most of us have been more likely to rent and live urban—due to delayed marriage/kids and huge improvements in big city living—we are becoming more prevalent in the housing market today.

 Builders are starting to tailor homes for our decade (see Adam Artunian’s blog Starter Home Solutions in Expensive Markets), but the big boom will likely come when we move to the suburbs for affordability and schools.

I bought my first home in 2014. I was tired of the apartment lifestyle, paying rent, and wanted to take advantage of low interest rates. My preferences included:

  • Townhouse for affordability, but an open floor plan for having friends and family over
  • Dedicated work space for telecommuting
  • Didn’t need new construction but did not want to do major improvements
  • Good suburban location close to retail, but with a sense of community

I, like many Sharers, do not consider my first home purchase a “forever home.”

Instead, I looked for one that reminded me of the American Dream, where I could start the next chapter of my life.

About the Author:

Mike Willinger is an experienced residential and commercial market analyst, assisting in custom consulting assignments. Before joining John Burns Real Estate Consulting in 2013, Mike was a Real Estate Analyst at Rialto Capital Management, a subsidiary of Lennar, working with commercial, land, residential and specialty assets.  He also worked with Carlisle Development Group and served as Leasing Manager with Evergreen Realty Group for two residential properties.

Mike holds a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University, with an emphasis in Real Estate Development, and a B.S. in Real Estate and Hospitality Management from Florida State University, and is based in our Boca Raton, FL office. Mike enjoys swimming, traveling and watching FSU sports, especially football. Go Noles!

This article courtesy of John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

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