Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Demographics: Driving Housing Demand [REALTOR® University Speaker Series]

Dr. Rolf Pendall, The Urban Institute
Summary by Jed Smith, Managing Director, Quantitative Research

The REALTOR® University Brown Bag monthly lecture series features presentations by leading economists, analysts, and social scientists on evolving national and regional issues of interest to REALTORS®. The presentation by Dr. Rolf Pendall focused on some of the impacts of changing demographic trends on the demand for housing:

With the Baby-Boomers in transition to non-owner occupied housing and/or downsizing, the future demand for housing will be driven b the millennial generation and, to a lesser degree, Generation X. The future buyer will tend to be non-white to a significant degree—e.g., of Hispanic, African American, and Asian extraction. The increasing immigrant population will be a major player in the continued recovery of the housing market.

Falling household formation is projected to impact various areas of the country differently; as REALTORS® well recognize, all housing is local. Dr. Pendall explores the impact on parts of the Midwest in terms of decreased housing demand, in comparison to some other parts of the country where demand is continuing to grow.

What Does This Mean to REALTORS®? The typical first-time buyer client will be different—increasingly non-white and possibly with different preferences from current clients. Some Baby–Boomers will be looking for different types of housing. Finally, there may be an increased demand for remodeling services as homeowners are forced to stay in their homes, being unable to sell them in some areas of the country.

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