Monday, March 3, 2008

Echo Boomers Invade West, Urban Cores

A group of brash, smart, high-performance twenty-somethings are taking over our nation's urban centers. They populate nearly half of Dallas' urban core.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Deadline Newsroom - They are brash, smart, high-performance twenty-somethings and they may be taking over our nation's urban centers.

But that's a good thing, because this young demographic group is in position to do for the next housing boom what their parents did for the last one.

Call them "Gen-Yers," "Echo Boomers" or maybe even "You Tubers" or "iPod Accessories." They are the grown-up kids of baby boomers, born as early as 1977, they are 76 million strong and, most significantly, they are ready to leave the nest.

Officially called "Generation Y," the demographic is shedding its "slacker" image, each year earning more than $210 billion and pumping some $170 billion of those earnings back into the economy.

Newport Beach, CA-based The Concord Group, a boutique real estate consulting firm, says when these boomer babies choose a crib, home is often in the hip urban habitats of the southwest.

Emma Tyaransen, a principal and director at the Concord Group, says Generation Y has created a ground zero in Dallas where they make up nearly half the city's urban core population.

They are forcing real estate developers, city planners and business owners to sit up and take notice.

Don't try to spoon feed them cookie-cutter tract homes or suburban sprawl. They are 30 percent more likely to live within three miles of a city center.

They prefer condos, lofts and townhomes with character, distinctive architecture, and style. Think urban density, infill, transit oriented development and the kind of adaptive reuse of existing properties that typically comes with today's downtown redevelopment efforts.

Tyaransen says their mall rat days are over and they prefer retail close in, right outside their door, as part of mixed use housing developments. They like the concentrated live-work-play environments of today's' inner city condo, loft and townhome developments.

And luckily for the planet, their housing choice comes with a bonus.

Tyaransen says when Gen-Yers set up house, as a consequence of where they choose to live, they have a higher "green" profile and a smaller carbon footprint than their parents who live in larger, less energy-efficient homes outside the city core.

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© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service, and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's new backshop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

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