chart: Atlantic Cities
In “Houses of Boom” we ask where the buyers are going to come from to purchase those large, remote suburban properties. Who will want to move into the supersized family homes preferred by the Baby Boomers?
It doesn’t appear that it will be Millennials. In this chart, from Atlantic Cities (4/24/13), there is a comparison of attitudes about renting versus buying. It is based on a poll of 1453 adults. People who say they prefer to rent are more likely to live in the suburbs or rural areas, and they are younger. The study, which was sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation highlights that there may be large changes underfoot about house ownership; these preferences are not based solely on economics.
The data in this chart is not a revelation. Demographers have been pointing to this issue since the 1990s, calling it a “spatial mismatch” between family size, and housing stock. Now, financial people are wondering about its impact on the housing market (WSJ 3/7/2014- Michael Milken, op ed.) In Houses of Boom I raise this question: why did our cars get smaller and more efficient in the 1970’s, following the energy crisis, while our home sizes got smaller, and in some ways, less efficient. Is that trend about to reverse?
The Baby Boomer Housing Bust.
This is a basic article that lays open the seismic shift. In my book, “Houses of Boom” we go beyond the numbers and look at how people can prepare for this and secure their retirement and quality of life. Kudos to Forbes Magazine and this guest contributor for getting people involved and interested in the topic.
The issue has previously been discussed and commented on SubReddit:
Baby boomers’ approaching housing bust has business implications from business
“…The amount of new retail space across the U.S. has remained relatively flat in recent years, but New York’s Bronx borough has emerged as a hot spot.At least five major shopping malls or centers are under way in the Bronx that will add more than 1.4 million square feet of space, one of the largest local retail expansions in the country…..”
Bronx Emerges as a Retail Oasis – WSJ.com. (2/25/2014)
Why? businesses following consumers back to the urban core of cities as they search for new markets….
As people age-in-place, walkability is a key factor. This article, from the New York Times, talks about road design which favors cars, and then “street diets” . The latter means we downsize our roads so that they “play nice” with multiple transportation modes, like biking and walking. See this thoughtful article by Leigh Gallagher.
The Mean Streets of New York – NYTimes.com.
As our population ages, walkability becomes an even more important factor. People drive less, and come to depend on having just one family car, or even none. Second, walking is all about exercise and fitness…something we keep when we give up the gym membership. Third, walking is a past time …a way to get out and know the community.So, efforts in NYC to “reinvent” walkability are an important trend, whether you live in Albany or Antarctica!
Blogging note: How are you supposed to access the senior center?>
photo by author, on location in Turkey. Nov. 2012.
Perhaps this is the world’s earliest mobile home? Inside there is a small wood cabin that can hold 10 or 15 people, and of course, stairs to reach this high point. Going forward, Boomers need to think out whether their homes are carrying them forward…where they want to go. Or, are these homes, like the TH (Trojan Horse) very toxic.
This is an interesting idea, excerpted below, from the National Association of Home Builders Site. They are beginning a new index of home sales for the 55+ market.
P.S. What is wrong with this picture?!!
“We are seeing continued improvement in the 55+ housing market because consumers have gained confidence in the economy and are able to sell their current homes and move into a new home or an apartment that fits the lifestyle they desire,” said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “We expect this optimism from builders and developers to carry on into 2014.”
There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic). An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good.