Publications

- July 1, 2016: Vol. 28, Number 7

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Millennial misrepresentations: What is really happening with millennial migration patterns?

by Christopher Macke

The millennial generation is now the largest demographic cohort in the United States, comprising more than 87 million individuals. This age group is even larger than the 76 million–strong baby boomer generation. Not surprisingly, millennials are under the demographic microscope because their sheer number means their behavior has far-reaching implications for real estate investors. One important facet of the millennial generation’s impact on housing is its migration patterns; the topic du jour seems to be the claim that droves of millennials are now moving to the suburbs. Although this may make for a great headline, the message is not representative of what actually is occurring in the housing market.

First, the often-cited survey by the National Association of Realtors focuses on millennial homebuyers, not their migration patterns — the latter includes both buyers and renters. Second, the survey’s key finding was when millennials do buy a home, they are, in fact, buyi

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