Millennials and Affordable Housing in Boston
Boston has the highest concentration of millennials among the 25 largest US Cities. In fact, Boston remains the envy of other cities around the world when it comes to the level of talent that is available for the growing number of businesses in town. And yet, when it comes to building successful lives in Boston, this same group has very limited access to affordable housing.
According to a recent survey – affordable housing and economic mobility were, by far, the top concerns among millennials. While a majority of those surveyed who do not own a home, they do hope to buy one and are disappointed to be hindered by the area’s expensive housing market. Despite their relatively high incomes, many millennials have struggled to meet their housing payments. As for renters – half of the renters surveyed pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
These are troubling statistics. Yet, millennials themselves are aware of these challenges and remain committed to helping the region overcome them by establishing local roots and making ongoing contribution to their communities with the hopes of eventually being able to buy a home in the area.
Let’s take for instance the most popular Boston housing locations for this age group: Allston/Brighton, Fenway/Kenmore and Roxbury. In Fenway/Kenmore alone, 8 in 10 residents of the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood are between the ages of 18 and 34, the highest percentage by far of any neighborhood in the city.
If affordability is an issue, why are so many moving to these expensive areas? A survey by Boston Indicators and City Awake shows that millennials are also optimistic about a thriving job market – with work being the most common reason millennials came to and currently live in Boston, Cambridge or Somerville. They also appreciate the city’s assets including cultural offerings and diversity.
Millennials want to live in Boston!
So, what can you do? It’s up to realtors and other professionals in the housing market to help connect this unique audience to affordable options.