Millennials Hate Cars, Right? Wrong.



Millennials hate cars. They’re all about Uber and bicycles and subways, right? Well, apparently the conventional wisdom is now wrong. Like really wrong. According to a Bloomberg report out this week, there’s been a steep rise in Gen-Y car buyers over the past five years:

They’ve zoomed past Gen X to become the second-largest group of new car buyers after their boomer parents. Millennials are starting to find jobs and relocating to the suburbs and smaller cities, where public transport is spotty.

Citing J.D. Power & Associates data, Bloomberg writes that in 2010, Millennials accounted for 18 percent of new car sales in the U.S.; in 2014, they were buying 27 percent of cars sold. This suggests that Millennials weren’t steering clear of cars because they preferred life as pedestrians, but rather because they couldn’t afford cars, what with the dismal job market and the Great Recession. Now that wages and employment are picking up for Millennials, they’re the fastest-growing market for auto-sales. Read more »

Should Philly Bars Stay Open Till 4 a.m.?

Is the way to the hearts of Philadelphia millennials through their alcohol-soaked livers?

Rep. Jordan Harris thinks so — the Philly Democrat this week said he would introduce a bill that would let Pennsylvania bars apply to stay open until 4 a.m., an extra two hours beyond the current mandated close of business. He’s pitching the proposal as a bit of economic development aimed at keeping young millennials happy and in Philadelphia after they graduate.

“Philadelphia especially has lagged behind other major cities within a short radius as far as nightlife is concerned,” Harris said in a statement announcing his proposal, “and this bill would put our city on par with some of the largest cities in the country as far as having a healthy, vibrant nightlife.” Read more »

Philly Ranked 4th Most Walkable U.S. City

Philadelphia is the fourth most walkable large city in the country, according to Walk Score (a company that produces the “go-to metric for walkable cities,” says urban theorist Richard Florida). That’s the same Walk Score ranking Philly had last year.

It’s no surprise that parts of Center City, as well as Bella Vista and Fishtown, were named among the Philly’s most walkable neighborhoods. The rankings are based on walking routes, the friendliness of pedestrians, and other metrics.

Is Philadelphia’s walkability helping it attract millennials (and could it bring in even more)?

Read more »

Why Philly’s Millennials Aren’t Buying Houses

I love Philly, but I’m not going to buy a house here — at least, not anytime soon.

Neither, it seems, are thousands of millennials who call the city home, according to Sunday’s Inquirer. The reasons shouldn’t be surprising: They’re broke and skittish. But we ought to consider why it is they’re broke and skittish, and what it means for the future of the city that the next generation is hesitating to put down stakes here. Read more »

That Moment You Realize Fast and Furious Is Your Favorite Modern Movie Series

fast and furious

It’s a special kind of terror that sits on your shoulders when, after doing your best to keep your nose in the air and parse out rational, cutting movie critique, you realize that your favorite modern movie series is Fast and Furious.

It may be one of those special-circumstance-of-young-adulthood things, like going shopping for healthy groceries and coming home with a loaf of bread, Dr. Pepper, and five boxes of Gushers; or trying to re-learn how to dunk, even though your brain keeps telling you that your knee will fall apart like the chassis of a 1990 Corolla dropping out at 60 MPH on the thruway. It’s one of those quixotic, silly, confounding moments that help you realize that, in spite of all the trappings of professionalism and governmental subservience, you are still a kid, and sentimental. And that you like when cars go boom.

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Millennials Aren’t Flocking to Cities Anymore—Can Philly Buck the Trend?

Half a million fewer Millennials picked up and left to start over in new locations following the Great Recession, according to a new study released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Even though young adults remained by far the most transient age group out of all Americans both before and after the downturn — accounting for 43 percent of all movers over the six-year span studied — their movement slowed down, especially among 18- to 24-year olds.

People chase jobs. Less mobility in a post-recession world could be a positive indicator of a healthier economy for young people (more job stability) or it could be a casualty of the recession (moving is not an option for some anymore).

Philadelphia, though, is something of an Millennial migration outlier, which is good news. The number of young people moving into the city from other counties (aged 18-34) grew by seven percent between 2010 and 2012, compared to the three years prior. And the amount of Millennials moving in from other states grew by eight percent over that span.

That’s an encouraging sign, but it’s not the complete picture. Millennials move out of the city as well. And, indeed, a Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative report from last year warned that Philadelphia’s Millennial surge — 100,000 more young adults between 2006 and 2012 — could be slowing down:

Read more »

Urban Homeownership Is Dying Away

Not much vacancy. | Photo By Shutterstock

Not much vacancy. | Photo By Shutterstock

[Updated at 8:15 p.m. with context from a Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative study on the same subject.]

Cities are booming, but urban homeownership is fading fast, a new study out of the New York University’s Furman Center shows.

In 2006, renters outnumbered homeowners in just five of the nation’s 11 largest cities: Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. But by 2013, renters dominated in nine of the top 11 cities.

Not included in that list? Philadelphia. Read more »

Report Finds Philly Is Among the Best Markets for Renting to Millennials

Millennials have no doubt been the source of several headlines these last few years, and it looks like the Generation Y-talk won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Case in point, a recently released RealtyTrac report which, in addition to examining the best U.S. markets for buying residential rental properties in the first quarter of 2015, takes a look at the best markets for renting to millennials.

The results? Well as you can see from the chart below, the Greater Philadelphia Area, which saw a 25 percent increase in its millennial population between 2007 and 2013, has one of the country’s highest annual rental returns thanks to an 18.78 percent annual gross yield.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Millennials Drove East Market and the Gallery Renovation

east market rendering detail

Detail from one of the East Market renderings. Courtesy National Real Estate Development.

As per a report by the Center City District and the Central Philadelphia Development Corp., the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni writes that the retail scene in Center City has been gaining momentum thanks to youthful newcomers: “Millennials, young families, office workers and tourists visiting the city.”

Ever since these groups have made their way into Philadelphia, retailers have followed. Sayeth Kostelni:

The demand and buying power of this combined group has translated into attracting a diverse mix of retailers – 250 apparel stores, 133 food and drink establishments, and 444 full-service restaurants. It has also grabbed the attention from national chains including Forever 21, Nordstrom Rack, Uniglo, Michael Kors, Timberland among others that have opened up stores this year in Center City. Even though these national players have gotten a foothold in the city, 77 percent of retailers downtown continue to be boutiques, independents and regional firms, the report said.

Read more »

The Decline in Homeownership Is My Fault

Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon in "Singles" were prototypical Gen Xers. And do they look like homeowners to you?

Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon in “Singles” were prototypical Gen Xers. And do they look like homeowners to you?

Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson breaks down recently released Census stats that reveal that American homeownership is at a 19-year low. He’s a man with a good sense of humor, and he starts strong:

Let’s begin with the youths, as we must. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a journalist in possession of a negative statistic must find a way to blame Millennials for it.

Yes, Derek, and this is as it should be, I’m afraid, since millennial journalists are not helping matters. I recently heard a millennial pundit on NPR justify her generation’s value by noting that Mark Zuckerberg is a millennial. I mean, sometimes your generation just hangs itself. Read more »

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