KOTKIN: DENSITY SHOULD BE A RESPONSE TO MARKET FORCES, NOT A MANNER OF POLICY
New data from Trulia indicates that Millennials have reached the peak of urban living and are leaving expensive, dense areas in droves – with Orange County seeing the second highest number of millennials moving away to more affordable areas. OCBC’s Workforce Housing Committee welcomed Thursday renowned author Joel Kotkin, who wrote “The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us.” Kotkin asserts that modern cities don’t take into account actual people. Research indicates that the higher the density of a city, the less likely people are to have children. He cites places such as Singapore and Japan, which are typically thought to be models for dense urban development, but actually have alarmingly low birth rates and rapidly aging population. Kotkin warns that in addition to a low birth rate, the lack of emphasis on a choice of new housing won’t necessarily force people into dense areas, but will force them to look to other areas with the housing options they prefer at a price they can afford – which will hurt the economy.
Despite the often popular assumption, research indicates that 81 percent of millennials believe that homeownership is important and a dwelling with more space is desirable, such as a detached house. Kotkin asserts that the continuation of policies that ignore preferences will drive out the working population and ultimately harm OC’s and California’s economy. Density should be a response to market forces, not as a manner of policy, he said. For more information, contact Larry Brose,Vice President, Investor Relations and Business Development.