Familial Connections Drive Young Adults to Stay Close to Hometowns

New research indicates that the majority of young Americans choose to live near their hometowns, with family and community connections emerging as motivating factors to remain close to their roots. A recent survey by LendingTree reveals that 62% of millennials and Gen Zers live in or around their hometowns, with several reasons contributing to this trend, such as high housing costs, convenience, and an obligation towards family. With people’s priorities shifting toward stronger social ties and supporting networks, let’s delve deeper into what drives the younger generation home.

Reasons for Staying Close to Home

The LendingTree survey, featuring responses from roughly 2,000 individuals, highlights several motives for young adults to stay within proximity of their hometowns:

  • An obligation to be near family members;
  • Convenience offered by familiar surroundings;
  • The closeness of friends; and
  • Inability to afford relocation to a distant location.

Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economist, points out the influence of lockdowns during the pandemic, which allowed families to spend more time together than ever before. This renewed bond could have led many people to appreciate the value of living close to their loved ones and encouraged them to move back to their hometowns.

Pandemic Influence: Shorter Distances

Notably, the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers confirmed that people of all age groups have been moving shorter distances lately. In fact, the pandemic has undoubtedly played a role in reshaping the preferences and priorities of homebuyers and renters nationwide.

Young Families and Men Prioritize Family Ties

The LendingTree survey also established a significant correlation between starting new families and the preference for living near one’s hometown. A whopping 74% of young parents with children under 18 years old mentioned that getting help from grandparents or other family members for child care was a crucial factor in their decision to live close to relatives.

This phenomenon is not restricted to just young families either – men have shown a stronger predisposition towards staying nearby their hometown compared to women, with 64% and 50%, respectively. For these individuals, being able to reallocate savings from extended family support toward housing expenses, debt repayments, and other costs is highly valuable.

Yearning for Home: The Future Plan

Significantly, many young adults who aren’t currently living near their hometowns express a desire to move back someday. This longing highlights the emotional connection they maintain with their family and surroundings, emphasizing the role of social networks in people’s choices about where to reside.

Implications for Real Estate Market and Communities

This inclination of younger generations to prioritize family connections and community ties has several implications:

  • A localized focus: With more families wanting to stay connected within proximity, we may witness a surge in demand for real estate within neighborhoods near their hometowns;
  • Prioritizing local amenities: Developments and properties offering convenient access to essential facilities like schools, parks, and shopping centers are likely to be favored;
  • A shift to multi-generational living: As more young adults aspire to live near their parents, there’s a potential for increased interest in multi-generational housing solutions; and
  • Community-building efforts: As ties between communities and families strengthen, local organizations can capitalize on this shift by fostering engagement through events, festivals, and other social initiatives.

In conclusion, the growing preference of young Americans to stay close to their hometowns presents an opportunity for real estate developers, agencies, and community organizers alike. By recognizing the value that tighter-knit family units place on proximity, connection, and familiarity, industry professionals can respond to these needs with targeted developments, effective marketing, and engaging community activities tailored to the new generation of homebuyers.

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