1. They are paying top dollar to live in amenity-rich downtown apartments. Median monthly rent is $925. Only 13 percent live in or near downtowns; no more than 15 percent live in mid- or high-rise elevator buildings. One-fifth of respondents live at home with their parents or other relatives.
2. They shun the suburbs. Thirty-six percent call themselves “suburbanites”; 26 percent say they are “small-town/country people.” However, study authors say a significant contingent of “non-downtowners” is attracted to denser, mixed-use walkable neighborhoods that allow a short or moderate commute. Thirty-seven percent call themselves “city people.”
3. Their parents are paying their living expenses. Sixty-nine percent say their parents are not contributing.
4. They are not interested in owning a car. Nationally, 83 percent own a car. The highest share is in the South, at 88 percent, followed by the Midwest at 85 percent; the West at 80 percent; and the Northeast at 74 percent.
5. They are all using Uber or Zipcar or other car-sharing services. Only 15 percent report having used such services. But another 22 percent say they would use them if they were available in their communities.
6. They do not care about parking. Two-thirds of respondents chose “parking availability” and “having a garage” among their top five priorities for their future residences. Eighteen percent already pay for garage parking, and another 27 percent say they are willing to pay, but it’s not available.
7. They work from home a lot. Only 9 percent of respondents work from home every day; another 12 percent do so once or twice a week. Therefore, the study says, one-fifth could be interested in having a discrete office space at home.
8. They are all carrying crippling debt loads. Forty-eight percent report having no student debt, including 38 percent who never had any, and 10 percent who have paid it off. Among those with student loans, 28 percent owe less than $15,000—but 30 percent owe $50,000 or more. Among all respondents, 13 percent have outstanding credit card balances of $6,000 or more.
9. They do not care about owning a home. Although two-thirds say they are happy being renters, 70 percent say they expect to be homeowners within the next five years. But report authors note some “naïve optimism” on this point. When asked five years ago, the share expecting to own by 2015 was nearly as high, 67 percent, although only 26 percent owned when the survey was conducted in late 2014.
10. Most are willing to pay extra to live greener. While 41 percent said they would be willing to pay more rent for energy-saving appliances and utilities, water conservation, and recycled building materials, 59 percent said they are not willing to pay more for such features.