Study: ‘Millennials’ Require Palatial, Tricked-Out Apartments. Or Do They?


The Urban Land Institute has published a study showing that people in the 18 to 32 age group expect to buy a home in the next three to five years. Since that’s not happening, would-be homebuyers will be flooding the rental market, where developers are trying to cater to their needs. Those needs are many and varied, it seems, and Curbed summarizes them as follows (emphasis theirs):

· Open floorplans
· High ceilings
· Galley kitchens with moveable islands
· Stainless steel appliances
· Hardwood floors
· Granite countertops
· Modern light fixtures
· Two-tone paints
· WiFi in building common areas
· Larger clubhouses
· Roofdecks and courtyards
· Outdoor living rooms, gyms, and bars
· “Rooftop communal gardens, Zip-cars, many bike racks, and electric car charging stations.”
· Dog showers and pet parks
· Shared driveways to host barbecues

It’s like Friends 2.0. Weirdly enough, I couldn’t come up with examples of any 18-to-32 year-olds who have the amenities listed above, but then, this is New York.

Forget the high rollers with their “larger clubhouses.” What do real New York young people look for in an apartment? An informal poll of 20-something New Yorkers revealed that most respondents will basically settle for anywhere that’s not a complete ruin:

  • “No bedbugs. That was my first thought.”
  • “Space.” (That one came up a lot.)
  • “Natural light. And a nice landlord.”
  • “How close it is to the train.”
  • “A reasonably-sized kitchen.”
  • “I guess, after living without one, a full kitchen is pretty needed.”
  • “Decent price.”

Everyone polled gave some variation of the above requirements. A simple bunch, young New Yorkers are (or we’ve just been so browbeaten by New York City real estate that we don’t even know what a nice apartment is like, at this point). We don’t need “rooftop communal gardens” and moveable kitchen islands; instead, we’ll settle for any kitchen at all. And maybe, if we’re lucky, we won’t have bedbugs.