Portland and Metro have both been operating under the assumption that over the next 20 years, 60% of new housing will be in Portland; most of which will be condo and apartment bunkers, row houses, and town houses. In other words, all stuck together - apartment bunkers under different monikers. Because that's where millennials want to live. Planners know this.
Yeah, about that....
“Contrary to what you’ve heard, all millennials don’t want to live downtown. Some do, but most don’t,” said Leanne Lachman, the conference’s keynote speaker, who conducted the research.
Whoa - it turns out that most of them want to live in the burbs, or in small towns. Well, this is sort of embarrassing. And the home builders themselves have been telling the planners that they're on the wrong track, but the response from the planners has been about what you might expect; dripping with arrogance: what could the home builders possibly know? Those guys just build and sell homes for a living. They're not professionals, like the planners.
These assumptions have been challenged by the Portland Metro Home Builders Association, which questions whether that large a percentage of new residents will want to live in multifamily housing. Portland and Metro planners have responded by saying research shows millennials prefer renting apartments in cities, in large part because of lessons learned when the housing market collapsed in the Great Recession.
You see, the planners have research that supports their view, while all the home builders have is real-world experience. However, the latest research indicates that as many as 92% of millennials expect to become homeowners - and that they prefer single detached homes when they begin having kids.
“Cities are trying to figure out how to keep them when they start having children,” Lachman said.
Hard as it may be to believe, a lot of folks with kids are disinclined to stick them out onto an 8' by 4' deck at an apartment bunker to play. They'd actually prefer to have a bit of yard - at ground-level.
Who'd have thought it?