The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing is pleased to partner with the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative on the latest ULI community survey, America in 2015. This biennial national survey assesses Americans’ views on their housing, transportation, and community options.
Key Housing Findings
This year’s survey documents important housing-related preferences and highlights some potential trends to watch:
Housing Options: While most Americans are satisfied with the range of housing options they have to choose from in their communities, renters, Millennials, and the lowest-income Americans show markedly higher levels of dissatisfaction with their options. More than one-fifth of each group reports they are very or somewhat dissatisfied. Renters are more than twice as likely to be dissatisfied (25%) with their options as owners (11%).
Mobility: One-half of all adults report that they are very or somewhat likely to move in the next five years. Millennials are by far the most mobile, with 73% considering a move. The oldest adults – War Babies and the Silent Generation – tend to be more settled, but even 25% of these Americans are anticipating a move.
Affordability: Low-income Americans living outside of cities are less confident than low-income city dwellers in their ability to afford the kind of home they want in the next five years. Thirty four percent of low-income suburbanites lack confidence, as do 27% of low-income residents of rural areas and small towns, compared to 20% of low-income city dwellers.
Homeownership: Americans continue to believe that homeownership is a good investment, with 73% saying this is the case for them. Although Millennials see themselves transitioning into homeownership in the next phase of their lives, those Millennials anticipating a move over the next five years remain less likely to say they will be homeowners than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Many of the oldest adults who expect to move will transition from ownership to rental.
Home Size: Although “moving up” is the most common expectation for those looking to move, only 41% of all movers are looking to move to a larger home over the next five years, with 23% expecting smaller homes, and 35% looking for homes of about the same size.
Housing Type: Single-family detached homes remain the dominant housing choice for Americans, with 61% of people who say they intend to move looking for these kinds of homes, down from 67% in the 2013 survey. The America in 2015 results show what may be a shift in demand toward denser single-family housing types such as townhomes and rowhouses.