Real Estate and the Nomadic Millennials

Many of my friends are not so keen on going the traditional route of life; study, work, get married, buy a house, and live rooted like their parents. Instead, they set out for adventures working online.

Cheaper air travel and the fast increase in online jobs made a foundation for a new way of living and it is stupid not to embrace the opportunities which now lie open. The whole world is offering new experiences and my generation of millennials is not good news for the traditional real estate market.

An Airbnb report confirmed my observation that young people are spending their money on experiences rather than saving on housing, savings fund, and insurance or paying loans. Airbnb’s poll showed that millennials love flexibility especially on lodging, and this also goes for cars. I checked another private rent service “Homestays”, and hosted lodging is also very popular.  Couch-surfing or staying temporarily in other people’s homes in an improvised way has become normal among millennial travelers. If you want to make friends with locals and learn about their culture, these peer to peer rental options are very attractive.
Building status by acquiring things better than your neighbors will hopefully decrease with a more “nomadic” mindset. An investment like a house or car will only tie us down. Even having landlord months on is not much interesting as moving from one place to another in a matter of weeks or days. Housing prices are rising madly in good areas and more expensive and stringent loan policies make many of the millennials shy away from the whole process and just rent for life — a normal practice in both Switzerland and Sweden, for example.

Others may have their own ways of securing the future. I for myself have already determined where I will retire and bought a house there for my mother and sisters to take care of for the meantime. Others buy a house or flat and rent it out while traveling.

Nationalists and insulating forces are marching all over the globe creating tension between people and nations. The traveling millennials make a good counterbalance and I hope that the world will continue to open up for more mutual understanding.

Similarly in real estate, I hope that it will be shaped more in the direction of sharing. Why not build in guest rooms for travelers when building new houses in attractive locations all over the world? The trend of increasingly skyscraping accommodations will have to change into a more humane development if we want to care more for the world and our fellowmen.


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