Young people's house dreams, now and in the future

Marianne Levinsen, M.Sc. Political Science, futurist / 21. dec 2017

More young families in the future

Today, fewer young families than earlier own their houses, partly due to being more cautious after the latest housing crisis and in addition, many are experiencing a job market where it might be difficult to find a footing as a recent graduate.

Since the housing market and economy are so closely connected, we are quite certainly facing a growth in the housing market targeted at the young families. What are and what will their housing dreams be?

The domicile

The majority is dreaming about owning a house or a terraced house with a garden that form the perfect framework for family life. The house’s interior needs to be new. More young people than others in the housing market want a newly built house or an older one that has been newly renovated inside. They don’t want a house they have to renovate themselves or a house with large building projects.

The house should preferably be a minimum of 140m2 and with many rooms, for example 4 and a living room, so it’ll fit kids, office, hobby and guests. Maybe a little smaller if you settle down in areas close to the city, which are also the expensive areas.

The spacious kitchen-dining room with room for cooking, homework and play during the weekdays is a staple of the dream. This room is still the heart of the family’s housing dream.

There also has to be an outside area. That’s why the dream contains a large or small garden, where they can play football and play with the kids and maybe grow some herbs and vegetables. A cozy place where they can sit outside, grill and have a good time with family and friends is also a part of the dream.

Many dream about the clean, architectural lines in a newly built house, either with plastered walls or bricks with large surfaces and preferably other materials on the façade such as wood. The one-story house from the 90s and 00s with integrated garage isn’t that popular anymore. Many like the traditional villas from the 1960s and 1970s with an overgrown garden: The house just needs an updated interior otherwise it’s a no go.

For some, the size and quality of the house is crucial. That’s why they choose a house in the neighborhood, town or area where they can satisfy their demands for size, quality and aesthetics. This group would rather sacrifice location than the quality of the house.

The dream and the location

The housing dream often start when you’re in a relationship, you’ve finished your studies, maybe had a kid or two and not-least when you’ve grown tired of not having enough room. Particularly the dream about creating a family is closely tied to the housing dream.

Then they start the hard work of realizing the dream. They start where they dream about living and then usually end up somewhere else because of the prices as well as the family’s demands for quality and size.

Many younger families work determinedly and thoroughly with their budgets, the quality, geography and they look at the various other conditions that are crucial when they have to choose a house.

Family in the area is significant for many when it comes to choosing a place to settle. For others it’s the presence of just the right house that determines where to settle. A smaller group of people is consciously going for smaller communities with many local associations when they pick a place to settle.

Everyday life and priorities

Most people are preoccupied with everyday life working for both children and adults. As a consequence, they want a maximum of 30 to 60 minutes of commuting to and from work. Some have to compromise though, in order to get the house they want.

If they have children or want children, they’re very preoccupied with daycare options and school reputations. They want the safe neighborhood, where the slightly older children can go to sports and music lessons themselves, while their parents are at work.

Vicinity to shopping and stores is important for the younger family members that live close to, or come from the larger cities. When it comes to picking a place to live, the presence of nature is important for many younger families as well. In the other age groups the priorities are slightly different.

Young families and municipalities in the future

The young families are a growing group and more will enter the hunt for a house in the housing market in coming years. They’re a desirable group that contributes with good income and lots of new socio-cultural resources for a town or an area.

That’s why it’ll be interesting to see which municipalities are able to create the right conditions in regards to supply of housing, lots, good schools and daycares as well as creating a functioning infrastructure for the coming families’ everyday lives.

For the past 15 years, Fremforsk has worked with what Danes want from settling, housing, the quality of housing, location and aesthetics and lately with people moving to and from municipalities in mid-Jutland. That’s the foundation for this article, on what the younger families dream about when they dream about housing and settling down.

Published here 2017

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