At this point, you’ve learned about the four most significant trends affecting the real estate of tech companies, labor, cost, density, and flexible space, but the list doesn’t stop there. The top five most significant impact is generations.
Trend 5: Generations matter
The suburbs aren’t dead, and even though we’ve seen a lot of shift toward downtowns across the country, don’t count the suburbs out yet. As Millennials come of age, they will be buying homes and settling down. It may not look the same as their elders’ generation, but they will need housing, and they will want to ease their work-life balance.
We expect this will be the case in Phoenix. Currently, over a quarter of the population (27.8%) is a Millennial. We hope to see a healthy mix of Millennials invest in urban environments as well as local ones. As Millennials continue to find their housing throughout the city, the contemporary feel of downtown is often placed first on the list, with the suburbs and outlying areas left as fallback choices. Sure, all the first-wave millennials want to live in new downtown lofts and ride their fixie to work, and it’s true that Millennials may take longer to settle down, but not all are going to want to live in urban environments their entire lives.
As people grow, their desires and priorities change. When Millennials start their own families, they will be buying homes in suburban areas. Today’s suburbs look more like mini cities than the cookie-cutter blocks of yesteryear. These mini-cities are appealing because they offer walkable regions with stores and restaurants, as well as some mix of transit which is ideal for a Millennial looking to ease their work-life balance.
Many jobs are still located in the suburbs. There have been many significant headquarter relocations to the city, like Godaddy and many small-to-medium-sized businesses are ingrained in suburban communities. Then you have big companies like Apple, which have begun investing in both urban and suburban locations.
Stay tuned for my next article in which I’ll explore trend number six: cost of living.