So much analysis has gone to the importance of the Millennial generation in driving future housing demand -- but the numbers so far aren't yet bearing out that the members of Gen Y care all that much about rushing into things like buying a car, or owning a home. The Atlantic overviews assumptions made by many in the retail and housing industries, and asks an important question:

[T]he Millennial generation is just waiting to be unlocked; that as the economy slowly recovers, today’s young people will eventually want to buy cars as much as their parents and grandparents did; that a finer-tuned appeal to Millennial values can coax them into dealerships.

Perhaps. But what if these assumptions are simply wrong?

It's important to note that homeownership remains an important goal for most Millennials, with nine out of 10 saying they want to own their own home sometime in the future. But how far into the future is the important question, as is what "owning a home" looks like for the generation just now coming of age:

In some respects, Millennials’ residential aspirations appear to be changing just as significantly as their driving habits—indeed, the two may be related. The old cul-de-sacs of Revolutionary Road and Desperate Housewives have fallen out of favor with Generation Y. Rising instead are both city centers and what some developers call “urban light”—denser suburbs that revolve around a walkable town center. “People are very eager to create a life that blends the best features of the American suburb—schools still being the primary, although not the only, draw—and urbanity,” says Adam Ducker, a managing director at the real-estate consultancy RCLCO.