Millennials can’t afford to live in cities

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The Future. Millennials flocked to cities more than previous generations did, but rising housing costs and mortgage rates are sending them back out to the suburbs. Many are upset with the relative lack of amenities, but millennials could change that if they push for zoning reform.

No place like home
Financial woes have forced millennials to exchange urban living for the deep suburbs.

  • City living — which already cost a third to a half more than suburban arrangements did — is pricier than ever, with some landlords raising rent by 30% just last year.
  • That’s forced millennials to flee cities, pass through unaffordable exurbs, and settle in deep suburbs with almost no amenities.
  • Those who exchanged cities for suburbs during the pandemic can’t come back because mortgage rates have risen even as their homes have depreciated in value.

Suburban re-form
We can’t make houses cheaper. But millennials could create amenity-rich environments in the suburbs via zoning reform, which would allow more businesses to open in the suburbs. The hurdle is outnumbering the older residents who vote in force and typically oppose urbanization.

So, get out that vote.

Luke Perrotta


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