These generations all have different and sometimes divergent tastes:
- Work Ethic
- Job Expectations
Will the next generation like your house, want your house or even need your house?
Two desires of every generation:
- Want to distinguish themselves from previous generations.
- Hair styles
- Reject previous leaders & create their own
- Want to be admired and emulated by the following generations.
- Duty, honor, country
- Dedication, sacrifice
- Conformity, blending, unity – “We First”
- Hard, hard times then prosperity
- National pride
- Doing a good job was most important
- Age = Seniority
- Couldn’t wait for a home in the country
The Baby Boomers:
- Work ethic = Worth ethic2
- “workaholic”; competitive
- Success is largely visible – trophies, plaques, lifestyle elements
- Defined by their job
- Personal development
- We are the world; We are the children
- Fell in love with the suburbs
- Came of age when the traditional world leaders were struggling – Economy, Vietnam, Watergate, Japanese domination of industry
- “This company never promised you anything.”
- No common heroes
- First to develop an ease and comfort with technology
- Suspicious of Boomer values
- Had to learn to fend for themselves
- Very self-reliant
- Cynical and pessimistic
- Recycled warehouses and called them home
- Individualistic yet group oriented
- Short (very short) attention span
- Acknowledge and admire select authorities
- Think the Matures are cool! Parents, too.
- Ambitious yet clueless
- Is the responsibility of homeownership too much for this generation?
What does all this mean to the housing market long term?
- Town Center/Faux Urban environments have already gained popularity
- Rental occupancy rates are at all-time highs
- Energy costs & Transportation costs reside at a new paradigm
- Mobility of each successive generation has increased
- Adventuresome housing alternatives excite
- Perception is reality
- Each successive generation marries later in life
- Each successive generation starts a family later in life
- Virtual workplaces exist/working from home, Starbucks or the front seat of one’s car is easy
- Younger generations don’t install landline communications
When these factors are considered, the words location, location and location will mean more than ever to subsequent home owning generations. Existing homes that offer ease of access, perceptions of excitement and nearby entertainment will be more attractive than remote “cookie cutter” streets of visual monotony.
Pedestrian access, bicycle access, public transit access but still automobile friendly locations will command top dollar. People are social beings. Social networking is not just online. It is still face to face. Access to that interface will still be invaluable. Planning, keeping a look toward the future and understanding what is coming behind you will be critical to understanding the residential housing market moving forward.