21st August 2019

London Living - New Chapter


Babyboomer, Silent Generation, Millennial. The generation you were born to may impact your thoughts on the best cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (covered over 400 times by the likes of Bob Dylan, Rufus Wainright, Alexandra Burke and Peter Hollens feat. Jackie Evancho) but it will of course go much further into who we are and what we hold dear. In the latest LondonLiving, DTZ Investors’ analyst Jessica Mueller looks at how when you started your life, plays into the every day of how you live your life.

I’m sure you have heard many ways in which Millennials are bringing social change to our way of life. Truthfully, each generation has its own intricacies which develop through the environment in which they grew up, each generation is impacted by technological advancements and the economic environment in their youth.

If we take ‘Babyboomers’ for example: their key characteristics are goal-centric, disciplined, competitive and self-assured. The silent generation are known for their hard work ethic, prudent saving and faithful commitment. Millennials on the other hand, are known for being strong on a work/life balance, being able to question authority and are achievement orientated.

So what made Millennials less hard working and competitive? When Millennials were growing up, there was a social shift towards a healthier lifestyle. More scientific proof was published on smoking, eating 5 a day, exercising regularly etc, this fed into their education. Millennials had lessons all the way through their education on health and well-being as well as the environment, something which both the Silent Generation and Babyboomers never had. This has evoked values around health and climate change for many Millennials, which has affected how they purchase goods and services. Some modern companies can charge £7 for salad in the City now because workers are more interested in their health than saving £5 and having a cheap supermarket sandwich.

Millennials have had the greatest change in characteristics from their parents (Babyboomers), which is not only down to their education but also the economic environment. They were mostly late teenagers or young professionals when the global financial crisis hit, which led to low economic growth for their early years of working. This, along with the increase in university fees and incrementally high house prices, has made them begrudge saving. Median wages grew by an average of 0.3% per year between 2007-2017, compared to three times that between the mid 1980’s and mid 1990’s meaning Millennials are worse off than their parents. It would take a Millennial on average 8 years to save for a house deposit in the UK (10 years in London). However, Millennials are spending more on leisure and activities than previous generations. It shows they are less interested in material goods and more interested in creating memories through experiences.

There has been a clear generational shift to personal care with greater awareness of physical and mental health as well as the environment. This has driven a change in the way people shop, the younger generations are more interested in how their products and goods are supplied, ensuring it is environmentally friendly and sustainable. There is likely to be a slight change in the way each generation lives, shops and plays… at the end of the day most teenagers want to be different to their parents, creating new opportunities for businesses. There is reasoning behind these changes and therefore it is important to understand why and where the new demand comes from to ensure your business or real estate is future proofed.

Jessica Mueller


LondonLiving is a weekly thought piece looking at different aspects of life in the capital; from the logistics of deliveries, the plight of loneliness, through to how generation rent is shaping its future. 

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