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What Housing Crash? The American Dream is Alive and Well with Gen Y

The American Dream

This is according to an article written by Trisha Riggs on October 14, 2010 for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) which suggested that the echo boomer generation, or Gen Y, holds a high view of the American Dream – despite the housing market collapse – with the majority of respondents expecting to own homes within five years.

It went further and stated at nearly 78 million, Gen Y, aged 15 -32 years old, is now the largest generation in the U.S. This comprises 25 of the population, just surpassing the baby boomers, which represent slightly under 25 percent. The nationwide survey, conducted during the summer of 2010, drew responses from 1,241 Gen Yers. The research focuses on 18 – to -32 year old, who have finished high school, are in the labor force, or attending vocational schools, colleges, or universities. Sixty-four percent of the respondents are aged 25 to 32, 36 percent are 18-24.

The preference for home ownership is demonstrated by the number of respondents who already own homes as well as those who intend to be homeowners. Thirty-six percent of the respondents (primarily the oldest in the group) own homes. Additionally, while the largest percentage of Gen Yers currently rent, live with their families, or live in student housing, more than 70% expect to own a home by the time they reach their early thirties. Sixty-seven percent of all respondents expected to own homes by 2015.

The Gen Yers will encounter many challenges in actually making their desires a reality as the recession, weak employment and housing finance reform could affect the purchasing prospects. However, with the lowest interest rates in our history, seller incentives, and available homes may signal this is truly a great time to make these home buying decisions.

The sheer size of the Gen Y generation means it will have enormous influence on the real estate industry and the economy in general – an impact likely to be as striking and long – lasting as that of the baby boomers, ULI Governor Leanne Lachman, president of Lachman Associates and author of the study, said “As America’s emerging retail and housing consumers, their (echo boomers) activities are crucial to our economic recovery and beyond,” she said. “These young people deserve more attention than they are getting.”

Another interesting fact was 82% of the survey respondents who said they anticipate owning by 2015 expect to be living in a single-family home, far outstripping the percentage who expect to own a condominium, duplex or townhome.

Gen Y in entering the housing market during an era when “saving time matters most,” a key difference from when baby boomers entered the market. “Going forward, we’ll see smaller homes on smaller lots, and suburbs with an urban feel, near employment and shopping. The expectations of echo boomers, in terms of their lifestyle as homeowners, “will cause suburbs to grow differently than they have in the past,” according to ULI’s chief executive officer Patrick Phillips.

With this in mind, when you are getting ready to explore a home buying decision compare location, value and planning put into a Castle & Cooke master-planned community. This developer has laid out a plan that includes nearby services, walkability, community gathering spots and more the needs of the Gen Y buyer. To see Castle & Cooke Homes visit

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