Understanding these complexities can be a real advantage.
For the first years, even decades, of someone’s life, their home plays an integral role. But most of the time, this home is not one they have built or purchased themselves. Whether living with their parents or under a housing agreement with a university, individuals in their early and even mid-twenties are often strangers to homeownership.
But there is more to their nescience than novelty. Living at home may put them in a position to continue living at home. REALTOR® magazine discovered that young adults in such circumstances may be suffering professionally.
A stunted or stagnant professional life can lead to this generation following fundamentally different lifestyles from that of their parents. Some of this is natural. Cultural norms change with each generation. But more and more, the milestones reached by this generation of young adults are trending toward delay.
How does living at home affect young adults’ professional lives?
In the study cited, young adults living at home were differentiated from those whose parents provided them financial support. This financial support was unofficially earmarked toward helping them start out on their own.
Those whose parents allowed or invited them to live at home typically received lodging in lieu of such financial foundations. The parents seemed to view this as an equal investment in their children’s future, and a more financially convenient one to make at that.
Correlation, of course, does not equal causation. The author of the study could not pinpoint a reason that those who lived at home fared worse than those who received financial support.
Provision or prevention?
One hypothesis was that parents who offered financial support may have been of higher socioeconomic status than those who offered housing. This could mean anything from that the children grew up with different expectations and rose to meet them to that they received an education that better prepared them for the job market.
A causational hypothesis, however, is that young adults who received financial help were supported without sacrificing the sense of urgency that accompanies adulthood. In other words, though their parents still supported them financially, their decisions were their own. They had already begun building a life.
In contrast, those who remained at home did not have the sense of building a life of their own. Their life was still tied up intimately with their parents’. One thing parents can do to mitigate this is to encourage their children to at least save up while at home.
How do professional effects ripple into consumer habits?
One quarter of those living at home do not go to school or work. With no inflow of cash, these individuals are in no position to purchase a home.
Lifestyle changes also factor into the delay in home purchasing. Those who live at home tend also to get married and have families later in life. Having a family is one of the primary drivers in purchasing a home. Therefore, these young adults have one less reason to do so.
Other pertinent lifestyle attributes include education; living with one’s parents is more common among less-educated millennials. This generation is also moving considerably less often than its predecessors. All of these factors contribute to a declining participation in the housing industry.
What can you do?
As a business leader in your community, you can support and get involved in local education. Talk to your current clients about their plans. Get a feel for the generational demographics and prepare yourself for the type of marketing, and counseling, you’ll need to do. You play a much bigger part in your community than being a middle-man. You can effect real change.