Marketing Home Products Within the Generational Housing Bubble
Posted by Steve Kleber on Jul 02, 2009
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The Baby Boomers account for more than 78 million Americans and have been the primary catalyst for the bustling housing market during the past 30 years. Looking to the coming decade, Baby Boomers will eventually retire, relocate and ultimately withdraw from the housing market completely. This has builders, developers, manufacturers and city planners raising a number of disturbing questions.
What will happen when the number of home sellers outnumber home buyers, and what will happen to the overall home and building products market when Boomers sell off their homes to smaller, somewhat less fortunate generations?
Although these questions stem from apprehension that could constitute national alarm, the current housing situation and inherent generational housing bubble actually paves the way for enhanced opportunity in the housing market.
Long-standing housing trends can be changed. Modern options that allow for higher-density, compact, affordable and multi-family housing developments are a necessary departure from the traditional single-family homes that have been the backbone of the past U.S. housing market. Furthermore, it’s imperative to the future of the housing market to move the aging housing stock, attract the continually increasing immigrant population and capture the income of today’s younger generations.
Today’s professionals aren’t going quietly into retirement. Ruppies (Retired Urban People) are creating a new trend of higher-density housing located in the center of eclectic urban communities. Some areas have embraced the attitudinal shift among their aging Boomers by developing new, smart growth housing options. Not only does this maintain the presence of the elderly within the community but it also stimulates new construction.
Embracing the foreign born
As seen by years past, immigrants are an important source for housing demand. As a result, the foreign-born are increasingly vital to a healthy housing market in the future. According to Myers and Ryu’s white paper titled “Aging Baby Boomers and the Generational Housing Bubble,” the foreign-born share of the increase in homeowners has roughly doubled each decade since 1980. This trend shows no signs of slowing any time soon.
Empower the younger generations
Overall, the younger generations buy homes at three times the rate of older generations. It’s a fact that can’t be ignored if you are in the housing market. Converting this group from renters to buyers is a huge market opportunity. Millenials are expected to put the housing market back on track for the next 10 or so years. This group is at its peak home buying and renting age and will is continually serving as significant support for housing.
Housing is a constant
It’s expected that the ratio of seniors to working-age residents will increase 67 percent over the next 20 years, creating an end to the generational housing bubble. In the meantime, challenges in the marketplace (once embraced) will eventually lead to new housing trends, superior building developments and planning techniques, along with enhanced marketing and selling strategies.
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