London's population is expanding, driven by a desire from the younger generations to live in urban environments and the proximity benefits associated with an increased blurring of life and work. Purchase and rental costs are increasing as demand places increasing strain on supply. There has been an increase in the number of people willing to share accommodation and/or making do with ever-smaller living spaces. This is something that the co-living operators are capitalizing on providing more affordable, smaller units, offset against the benefits of being part of a like-minded community, with communal facilities.
Employers have followed suit, moving in to be more central, noting that the upcoming talent, particularly tech talent, wants to live and work centrally.
But I agree with this blog post - there will be a wave of millennials reaching that tipping point where they want to move on to the next phase of their lives and start families - something that they have delayed compared to previous generations. With young families, sharing with others and living in small accommodation becomes less desirable, and larger spaces in central locations are unaffordable to the majority. At this point they will look outwards. But they will do so with a desire to maintain as many of the conveniences and benefits of urban living as possible...
The question is, when some of this talent moves outwards, will some employers follow suit and reconsider cheaper locations outside city centres too?
Millennials are known for their love of all things urban. But, that might be a function of age, not inherent demographic values. According to a recent survey by ULI, six out of 10 millennials expect to live in a detached single-family home within five years. The drive to suburbanization is the same for millennials as it has been for other recent generations: marriage and kids. Although it is true that millennials are putting off marriage and family until later in life, that doesn’t mean they are putting it off indefinitely. Seventy-five percent of millennials still plan to get married, which will likely prompt a suburban exodus. As a result, suburbs will need to evolve and develop to meet millennials’ uniquely urbanized habits.