What Miami Can Tell Us About the Future of American Cities

More young people are living with their parents — which could be a wider trend in the years to come

More people are choosing to live at home in Miami
Miami. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
By Carl Caminetti / September 27, 2019 10:19 am

The news of the big-city boom is pretty old news, at this point. You know people have been moving to places like Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia, Chicago and other major cities that older generations ran away from. Heck, you’ve probably heard of “Hipsturbia,” or the phenomenon of Gen. Xers and Millennials giving up on cities because they’re too expensive and moving back to the suburbs.

Yet there’s one thing we tend to overlook in these conversations, and that’s the amount of younger people who are choosing to stay home — the people who don’t move into their own apartments or houses the first chance they get. And as the Miami New Times reports, using data from Zillow, nowhere is that trend as popular as in Miami.

As the report shows, in 1980, most young people living on their own in the Miami area were around the age of 24. Rent was cheap and you could find a place to live. Today, that average age is 29 — further proof that living in cities is becoming too expensive for most younger people.

“Changes in social and cultural norms, as well as affordability challenges, likely explain some of the shift,” the report states. “Young people today are more likely than their predecessors to live in urban cores, where housing is more expensive, and rent price growth has hindered the ability of renters to afford a home without roommates or save enough of their salaries each month for a down payment. Increased demand for starter homes as the large Millennial generation reaches typical home-buying age, along with persistently low inventory, has contributed to robust home value appreciation in many large metro areas, making it more difficult for first-time buyers to get into a home.”

The idea used to be that you could move to places like Miami or any of the other aforementioned cities and not have to worry too much about making rent. Today, job markets and housing in these cities are tighter than ever, and young people are looking for different options, even if that means living with mom and dad well into their 20s.

Though, as Jerry Iannelli of the Miami New Times points out, part of the change could be because of cultural norms, mainly that, “children in many Latinx families, especially religious ones, often avoid moving away from home until they’ve married.”

Whatever the case, Miami presents an interesting new twist in the evolution of our modern American cities.

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