June 15, 2012
From a panel moderated by Lawrence Yun on Shifting Demographics and Housing Choice at the National Association of Realtors Legislative Mid-year Meetings:
- Long term housing demand is determined by demography
- Growth in 65+ Population will create new demands for affordable, accessible housing. The senior population will increase by 30 million. Staying at home is desirable but a challenge. 85-88% of seniors live in traditional single family homes; 5% live in group quarters; 10% live in senior facilities. Many have serious affordability issues.
- Seniors will contribute to the housing supply because they release more housing than they absorb. Between 2000 and 2010, 55+ released 10.5 million units. These units were built when energy was cheap and may be functionally and economically obsolete.
- Echo boomers will present long term opportunity but are now struggling. The Echo boomer and Millennial age groups are racially and ethnically diverse, confident and connected, and unmarried. Their median income has dropped 9% during the recession. They stand to benefit from wealth transfer from their parents.
- Rental housing demand is likely to climb in the coming years.
- From 2005-2012, the number of homeowners did not increase and actually declined. This is contrary to an historical average of 800,000 new households every year.