PodcastNational Housing Market Outlook

The Economy Deconstructed, One TikTok Video at a Time

Dean Wehrli

Dean Wehrli

October 23, 2023
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Do not call Kyla Scanlon a social media influencer. She is a social media educator.

Through a swelling number of followers on YouTubeInstagram, and TikTok, Kyla has built a reputation as someone who can accessibly explain complex economic and financial concepts to a primarily Gen Z audience hungry to better understand the complex world around them.

That sounds like the kind of person we want on the New Home Insights podcast. Kyla thought so too, so tune into the latest episode.

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Featured guest

Kyla Scanlon, Founder, Bread

Kyla share her thoughts on things like:

Fear and loathing from a generation

  • What if the economy is humming, but you don’t feel like it is? What you have there is a “vibecession”—a gap between how people feel about the economy and what the underlying metrics say.
 
  • Media portrayal is a big part of this, especially in a social media-driven landscape, where many sources (Kyla excluded) focus on clickability over accuracy.
 
  • Kyla also sees anxiety at play here, fed by an individualistic cultural bias and the need to signal that one cares about the economy as much as anyone.
 
  • This toxic “doomerism” can have real-world consequences since how we feel impacts our actions.
 
  • For Kyla, though, it is critical to understand that for many below the level of American affluence, stagnant wages and poor working conditions validate their sense of economic conditions. Young people are particularly susceptible to this at the beginning of their income progression.

Different strokes

  • There are flat-out differences in how generations think of work and wealth and their place in the economy.
 
  • Gen Z has different motivations and drivers than older generations. Every company talks about work-life balance. Gen Z wants them to mean it.
 
  • Passion is also important to young people. Gen Z wants to feel empowered and have a sense that what they are doing is important.
 
  • Ownership, or a sense of a stake in outcomes, can motivate young people. Not every Gen Z worker has to own the company, but they want to feel like they have some stake and what they do matters.

How housing can be a pathway to change

  • Homeownership has long been the key wealth escalator for Americans. Today, many young people feel that the market conspires against them with high home prices, rising mortgage rates, and limited supply.
 
  • Kyla sees zoning reform, density, and mixed-use development as key, but one way or another, housing supply must increase to meet the needs of everyone, not just Gen Z.
 
  • Nimbyism, often fueled by a desire to keep the price of your home high, often stands in the way.
 
  • Still, young people generally see homeownership as a goal, they are just worried about how they get there.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Principal
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.

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