It’s no surprise to anyone that the housing market of 2018 isn’t the same as the one 40 years ago. But what it means for young people piecing together careers is that they can’t expect to afford the same houses and lifestyles their parents’ generation was able to obtain.
Millennials, sometimes referred to as “generation rent,” are having to get creative and find alternatives. And for many of them, it’s working just fine.
Britni de la Cretaz, 33, a freelance journalist who lives in the Boston area with her husband and children, didn’t want to give up on the idea of homeownership. But she and her husband, who works as a consultant, also had to cope with the financial uncertainty that usually accompanies contract work. Instead of opting out, they bought a house, then rented out the ground floor.
“A consequence of coming of age during an economic recession is missing out on many of the employment benefits seen by previous generations,” says Nancy Worth, an assistant professor of geography at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. She uses generational analysis through her project, GenYatHome, to examine how people born at a particular time share experiences. “Their experience is with a job market characterized by flexibility and precarity. Jobs with full benefits are something most millennials have never known.”