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Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses & what that means for the economy

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses & what that means for the economy

Viewing 15 posts - 181 through 195 (of 211 total)
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  • #511966

    tdziemia
    Participant

    So … thinking and digging a bit on this conclusion that millenials are buying far fewer cars for lifestyle reasons.

    First. The data in the articles pertain only to new cars. It is possible that millenials are buying the same number of cars as always, or even that they are buying more, if they have increased their used car purchases. All we know from these articles is that they are accounting for a smaller share of new car purchases. So … the premise for those articles is basically shaky from the get go

    Next. Millenials were hit harder by the recession than older age groups in terms of absolute employment figures. If you look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will find that employment among those over 50 (the demographic which is responsible for an increasing percentage of new car purchases) increased by 3 million people between 2007 and 2011. On the other hand, employment among people aged 20 to 34 decreased by 2 million. So, it stands to reason that purchasing power is also a contributing factor (suggested by other posters, but statistics also tend to back it up).

    I don’t doubt that lifestyle decisions can also be in play. Just don’t see the data yet that supports that. That would like like demographics of vehicle registrations by age group, I suppose?

    #511967

    bman
    Participant

    gramarye said:
    Well, they’re also probably a tougher sell to urbanists than to others of our age. I know a couple of kids I went to high school with have little boats with outboard motors that are basically big enough for 2-3 people, a few cases of beer, and fishing tackle. (I think they usually come back with no fish and no beer, but I doubt they care.)

    I have a pontoon that we float around on Hoover on … Cocktails, music, sun and family/friends doesn’t get any better on a sunny weekend! Regardless of birth year!

    #511968
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    tdziemia said:
    First. The data in the articles pertain only to new cars. It is possible that millenials are buying the same number of cars as always, or even that they are buying more, if they have increased their used car purchases. All we know from these articles is that they are accounting for a smaller share of new car purchases. So … the premise for those articles is basically shaky from the get go

    There have been other reports that drivers license registrations are showing lower rates for the Millennial age group as well:

    Millennials Not Buying Cars or Even Getting Drivers Licenses

    #511969

    InnerCore
    Participant

    tdziemia said:
    So … thinking and digging a bit on this conclusion that millenials are buying far fewer cars for lifestyle reasons.

    First. The data in the articles pertain only to new cars. It is possible that millenials are buying the same number of cars as always, or even that they are buying more, if they have increased their used car purchases. All we know from these articles is that they are accounting for a smaller share of new car purchases. So … the premise for those articles is basically shaky from the get go

    There are plenty of articles that have data that pertains to more than new cars:

    http://grist.org/news/youngs-kill-car-culture/

    The U.S. PIRG study reveals how, after six decades of steady growth, both total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and VMT per capita have been falling since 2007. Total VMT is now at 2004 levels, while VMT per capita has fallen to 1996 levels. And once again, it’s those meddling millennials who are reimagining one of the pillars of American culture. Young people ages 16 to 34 drove an average of 23 percent fewer miles in 2009 than they did in 2001, according to the report.

    #511970

    tdziemia
    Participant

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m all FOR this kind of trend (lower carbon footprint via less driving and less square footage in lodgings). What I’m against is sloppy journalism that takes one half-baked fact and spins it into a story with conclusions that aren’t well supported.

    I did notice that the trend in 20-34 year old’s car purchases declining went all the way back to 2002, also consistent with the PIRG statistics on miles driven, so indeed it doesn’t appear to be just a recession effect (though I didn’t go back that far to look at the relative proportion of population in that age group).

    As for some of the other reasoning … for the most part, I don’t buy gas price arguments at their current levels based on any real economic grounds. The average car driver buys something like 35 gallons of gas a month. If the price goes up 50 cents, we’re talking $17.50/mo. I don’t think that’s an amount anyone pays any attention to, at least on its own. If “total car ownership costs” (=purchase price +insurance+parking+gas) have increasing a lot, that’s an argument I’d buy, because those costs often exceed $500/mo.

    #511971

    MRipley
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    There are plenty of articles that have data that pertains to more than new cars:

    http://grist.org/news/youngs-kill-car-culture/

    The U.S. PIRG study reveals…..quote]

    Oh boy, another “green” blog reports on the same study that even “transit” fans admit they don’t care if the source is credible, as long as it’s repeated.

    On another CU thread a quote from another transie regarding the PIRG study;

    “Well obviously it shouldn’t be surprising.
    Regardless of whether or not the source is credible, dozens of news agencies are reporting on the report.”

    More and more LOL

    #511972
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    MRipley said:
    More and more LOL

    Want to hear another LOL?

    Transit fans want to see transit implemented along existing road networks. Cars + Trains working together for a multimodal system with options for everyone.

    Car Zealots want to see no mass transit at all. Cars VS Trains in a battle to the death. No options. All eggs in one basket.

    Mega LOL, amiright?

    #511973
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    tdziemia said:
    As for some of the other reasoning … for the most part, I don’t buy gas price arguments at their current levels based on any real economic grounds. The average car driver buys something like 35 gallons of gas a month. If the price goes up 50 cents, we’re talking $17.50/mo. I don’t think that’s an amount anyone pays any attention to, at least on its own.

    I dunno… I know a lot of people who get excited about their fuel perks when they can get 10 cents a gallon knocked off their purchase. I also know people who will keep an eye on a few different gas stations to make sure they’re going to the one that is 3 cents less per gallon than the other on any particular day (saving themselves what… 30 cents?).

    If anything, I’d say that people are more hyper-aware of gas prices than most other products. But I’m not sure that means that they buy any more/less gas in the process.

    #511974

    InnerCore
    Participant

    tdziemia said:
    As for some of the other reasoning … for the most part, I don’t buy gas price arguments at their current levels based on any real economic grounds. The average car driver buys something like 35 gallons of gas a month. If the price goes up 50 cents, we’re talking $17.50/mo. I don’t think that’s an amount anyone pays any attention to, at least on its own. If “total car ownership costs” (=purchase price +insurance+parking+gas) have increasing a lot, that’s an argument I’d buy, because those costs often exceed $500/mo.

    Gas prices, car ownership cost, etc. are usually the argument put forth as a knee jerk reaction for people against urbanism and better transportation policies.

    If you live way out in the suburbs where there isn’t much to walk to and you have to drive far to get to anywhere, unless the price of gas or car ownership skyrockets you’re really not going to change much.

    However with the newer urban options being created you now have a choice. So let’s use your $500 monthly car ownership cost. If you can move to SN and and pay $300 more in rent but give up the $500 car ownership cost then at that point it might make sense.

    Then you have the trend of most places becoming more dense, even the suburbs. So even the people who would drive the most are driving less because the places they want to go to are closer. Imagine if Dublin is able to move forward with their development plans. You’ll have a range of new work/live/play options all withing a very short distance. Even if you live in Dublin and choose drive a car for the same number of trips, you’ll still end up driving less because most of your options will be close by.

    A brief analysis by SSTI found a weak connection between VMT and gas prices, and a rather strong one between vehicle miles and urban density. The connection between land use and VMT continues to be debated, but the rationale behind it is sound. With a rise in urban density comes an ease of accessibility. On its own that would lead to an increase in trip-making, but accessibility also makes the length of each trip shorter and more direct, and creates a favorable situation for the use of non-automobile travel modes. “It is generally observed that greater accessibility associated with better transportation-land use coordination will result in lower VMT,” the 2006 DOT study stated.

    #511975

    GCrites80s
    Participant

    Walker said:
    Want to hear another LOL?

    Transit fans want to see transit implemented along existing road networks. Cars + Trains working together for a multimodal system with options for everyone.

    Car Zealots want to see no mass transit at all. Cars VS Trains in a battle to the death. No options. All eggs in one basket.

    Mega LOL, amiright?

    The ironic part is that most of those car zealots know nothing about cars themselves. If you actually understand automobiles, other forms of locomotion make sense to you in certain situations because learning about cars forces you to learn about physics and energy.

    #511976

    RhondaH
    Member

    Walker said:
    If anything, I’d say that people are more hyper-aware of gas prices than most other products. But I’m not sure that means that they buy any more/less gas in the process.

    So true! I am always looking for a discount on gas. My car takes 10 gallons and I fill it up about once a month so even a 10 cent savings works out to about $12 a year.

    Of all the places I spend and maybe waste money, gas is probably not one of the things I really need to worry about. I easily blow my yearly gas savings in one or two trips to Mojo.

    #511977

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    I do think that a lot of the anti-transit movement comes from the fact that many Americans simply have no experience with alternatives to cars. So often mass transit is seen as something poor people take, and they often have that view when their own city doesn’t actually offer realistic alternatives to cars. It seems to be mostly an issue of ignorance, where people just can’t imagine living without their cars, and can’t imagine why anyone would want to.

    #511978

    News
    Participant

    Study: Boomer buyers still key to auto industry success
    Nathan Bomey, Detroit Free Press11:06 p.m. EDT May 29, 2013

    DETROIT — Middle-age car buyers are more important to the auto industry than ever, according to a new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Adults in the 55-to-64-year-old age group were 15 times more likely to buy new vehicles than 18-to-24-year-olds in 2011, the study found.

    READ MORE: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/29/boomer-buyers-key-auto-industry/2371213/

    #511979

    dubdave00
    Participant

    jbcmh81 said:
    I do think that a lot of the anti-transit movement comes from the fact that many Americans simply have no experience with alternatives to cars. So often mass transit is seen as something poor people take, and they often have that view when their own city doesn’t actually offer realistic alternatives to cars. It seems to be mostly an issue of ignorance, where people just can’t imagine living without their cars, and can’t imagine why anyone would want to.

    To add to that, I think there’s a difference between “anti-transit” and “transit-ignorant”. I would say that for the vast majority of suburbanites, thoughts on mass transit simply don’t cross their mind. Owning a car is up there with needing electricity and shelter. It’s just assumed because many of them were born into the whole “hop in the car and go to the store or a friend’s house” mentality. It’s more circumstance than deliberate.

    The “anti-transit” crowd would probably break down into subgroups of anti-spending or anti-tax people, superficial or hateful people (Mass transit perceptions as they pertain to class, race, etc), and automotive interests.

    #511980

    Lu
    Participant

    News said:
    Study: Boomer buyers still key to auto industry success
    Nathan Bomey, Detroit Free Press11:06 p.m. EDT May 29, 2013

    DETROIT — Middle-age car buyers are more important to the auto industry than ever, according to a new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Adults in the 55-to-64-year-old age group were 15 times more likely to buy new vehicles than 18-to-24-year-olds in 2011, the study found.

    READ MORE: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/05/29/boomer-buyers-key-auto-industry/2371213/

    Good reason for the auto industry to get behind driverless cars. Millennials will embrace cars when they can read, text, and surf the web on their way to work.

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