What Happened When My Small-Town, 50-Something Parents Moved to the City

My parents, who had spent much of their adult life in relatively rural and exurban landscapes, adapted quickly. […]

“Maybe after years in the exurbs or a small town you get tired of it. To be able to walk to three or four restaurants and two or three basic amenities like grocery stores instead of having to get in your car all the time. Well, that sounds pretty good to people.”

With the kids gone, aging Baby Boomers opt for city life

“The millennials and the boomers are looking for the same thing,” said Amy Levner, manager of AARP’s Livable Communities. […]

“The spirit on the streets, there’s a kind of vitality, a regeneration,” Harold Closter said, adding that most people in their building are younger than they are. “We’ve made a lot of new friends, and we’ve found that it’s a lot easier for our friends to get to us, because we’re right on the Metro. . . . Our (adult) son and his friends think this is pretty cool as well.” […]

“I don’t have to spend my time taking care of the house, replacing the gutter, sealing the driveway,” he said. “After you make the move, it’s like a big rock lifted off the back of your neck.”

Millennial Cohort Will Have Oversized Impact on Retail, Real Estate

This is a really good article explaining how the U.S. will be impacted as Millennials gain influence.

A few quotes that might pique your interest:

  • “[Millennials] are far less skeptical of government programs. In fact, many echo boomers believe government should do more to solve their problems.”
  • “The internet is drawing echo boomers away from television—particularly costly cable subscriptions.”
  • “The automobile thrills echo boomers much less than it did—and still does—their parents. One reason is that many of the young who can afford an automobile prefer to live in cities or mixed-use suburban locations.”
  • “Many higher-income/highly educated echo boomers grew up in the suburbs, but have happily abandoned life there for life in the cities.”
  • “Target, Walmart, and Best Buy already have developed smaller prototypes and are locating them in cities and larger suburban agglomerations, while at the same time closing some of their suburban and exurban stores.”
  • “During the 1980s and 1990s, business owners and managers were usually in the driver’s seat of the labor market, and thus were able to locate their offices in suburban locations close to their homes. But the shortage of creative talent with tech skills has made it much more important to locate the offices of startup companies and the businesses that need to interact with them where the talent they seek wants to live.”

But you should read the whole thing.

‘We can predict the next housing crash, and that’ll be in about 2020.’

In the 1990s and 2000s, 77% of housing demand was for large, single-family homes on grassy lots. But the previous generation’s wants don’t match the next generation’s:

“[Baby Boomers] will want to sell their homes, and they’re hoping there are people behind them to buy their homes,” says [Arthur C.] Nelson, director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. […]

A vast majority of today’s households with children still want such houses, Nelson says. But about a quarter of them want something else, like condos and urban townhouses. That demand “used to be almost zero percent, and if it’s now 25 percent,” Nelson says, “that’s a small share of the market but a huge shift in the market.” And this is half of the reason why many baby boomers may not find buyers for their homes.

Baby boomers had better embrace change

Yet a Pew Research Center survey published in November showed only 23 percent of baby boomers regard the country’s growing population of immigrants as a change for the better. Forty-three percent saw it as a change for the worse. Almost half of white boomers said the growing number of newcomers from other countries represented a threat to traditional U.S. customs and values.

When I started to write about it, in the paper and online, many of the comments from Conan’s fans were deeply bitter about the baby boom generation. There was a huge generational reaction to this. “When are they getting off the stage? We are sick of them, we’re sick of their music, we’re sick of everybody paying attention to them.” And here’s this guy coming back and grabbing this show again—and boy, it was really strong and it fed this whole Team Coco movement. And it’s really still feeding it today.

Bill Carter, author of The War for Late Night, discusses the Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien battle for The Tonight Show