Through at least 2030, the housing market will depend on the desires and fortunes of two generations: baby boomers and their offspring – the echo boomers.
The report – called – “Demographic Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Housing Markets,” was written by researchers at the Urban Institute, the University of Southern California, and the National Association of Realtors for the Washington, D.C.-based Bipartisan Policy Center.
The report states: “Just as the Baby Boom will swell the number of seniors in the next two decades, it will also swell the number of dwellings released into the housing market over the next four decades. The increase is likely to be felt most
acutely in the housing markets of the Northeast and Midwest, where the number of older homeowners seeking to sell their homes already accounts for a large share of the houses bought by younger home buyers. The sheer
size of the Baby Boom generation could cause a dramatic increase in the construction of senior-accessible housing over the coming decades.
But Echo Boomers will account for between 75 and 80 percent of the owner-occupied housing absorbed by people under 65 before 2020. Resulting demand would help absorb houses that are currently vacant or being withheld from the market, and would accelerate a return to conditions that are conducive for residential construction.
Over the next 20 years, the aging of the Baby Boom generation will
cause the senior population to grow by 30 million, according to Census Bureau
projections. About 14.2 million more seniors will live in the U.S. by 2020; between 2020 and 2030 the increase will grow to 16.5 million. As a result, the senior population is expected to grow.
The Echo Boom consists of young adults aged 15 to 29 in 2010; it includes the nearly 65 million people born between 1981 and 1995. By comparison, the Baby Bust generation – those aged 30 to 44 in 2010 – numbers only 61 million.
In summary – while the baby boom generation will contribute to housing supply – the echo book will consume that supply and then some..
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