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Millenials Say Thanks But No Thanks to Cars and Houses

Every generation is different, but in America, there's one thing that is constant: our love of cars. Owning a car has been a celebrated rite of passage for Americans since, ... well, since the invention of cars.

Until today. It seems that the Millenials have broken that tradition (they also don't like to buy houses), and that shift in attitude can cause a huge shift in the economy.

Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic explains:

... Millennials have turned against both cars and houses in dramatic and historic fashion. Just as car sales have plummeted among their age cohort, the share of young people getting their first mortgage between 2009 and 2011 is half what it was just 10 years ago, according to a Federal Reserve study.

Needless to say, the Great Recession is responsible for some of the decline. But it’s highly possible that a perfect storm of economic and demographic factors—from high gas prices, to re-­urbanization, to stagnating wages, to new technologies enabling a different kind of consumption—has fundamentally changed the game for Millennials. The largest generation in American history might never spend as lavishly as its parents did—nor on the same things. Since the end of World War II, new cars and suburban houses have powered the world’s largest economy and propelled our most impressive recoveries. Millennials may have lost interest in both.

Link


I would think this phenomena is more about being unable to afford a home purchase rather than the lack of desire. Or, the lack of desire is fueled by the lack of ability.
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For what it's worth, I was born in 1984 and I don't really want a car. I'm only now learning to drive, but even when I have my license, I don't know if I'd want a car.
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My kids have friends that are 16, 17, even 18 years old and have never attempted to get a driver's license because their families cannot afford to insure a teenage driver. The insurance can be more than car payments.

Which makes me dread having three teenage drivers in a couple of years. I still want them to know how to drive before they leave home.
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It's not about not wanting those things. It's about not being able to afford them. Work out the ratios. Minimum wage (a good baseline for income) against average cost of housing and a new car across the last twenty years. Very few can afford to buy anything anymore.
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I dont really know what the definition of a melinnial is but what person gets a brand new car as soon as they get a drivers license?

I've been driving a few years now and have had two vehicles and they each cost under $1000 so affordability isnt really a problem

maybe the mellinnials are just too smart, and dont see the logic in buying a $20,000 car for $25,000 and then having the value of it drop to $15,000 as soon as you sign the agreement
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  2 replies
I suspect that the Internet is responsible for part of this trend. These days, you can stay home and do many things that previous generations had to leave home for.
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