Millennials are changing the landscape

by Dan Lesniak

The millennial generation is the biggest generation since the Post-World War II baby boom era. They’re flocking to big cities in droves to be close to the action, and live close to their work. Areas like DC, Arlington and Alexandria are seeing an explosive growth of younger adults, with more than 20% of the population between the ages of 25-34. In the past, this generation was content with living in small condos or shared houses, but with a influx of babies, they’re now seeking to have more room to grow and privacy to live. Arlington’s Virginia Hospital Center has seen an increase in the number of births by women in their 20s, from more than 1,300 in 2011 to more than 1,600 in 2014, with a similar increase for women in their 30s as well.

This generation includes those born between 1980 and 2000. Arlington is just getting ready for the new wave of millennials graduating from college and settling in, while at the same time adapting to the maturing population of older millennials. For those who are having children now, there could be a conflict between the things that attracted them to Arlington and what they perceive as their needs now. They came for the walkable neighborhoods, exciting night life, and convenient transit options; they’ll stay for more family-friendly housing, good schools with smaller class sizes, and easier commute.

A large majority of millennials, around 75%, continue to rent in luxury apartment buildings with great amenities. Many of them spend more than the recommended 30% of their income on housing. Pricier apartments continue to open, as do newer luxury condo buildings, such as The Arc on Wilson Boulevard, Columbia Place, and Dominion Heights with median prices at $570,000. The county is committed to providing affordable housing for low-income residents as well, with projects such as Union on Queen planned for the near future.

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