News & Opinions
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Minorities, Millennials, and Boomers Will Drive Housing in Coming Years
Shelley D. Hutchins / Builder / June 30, 2014
Higher mortgage rates and a harsh winter slowed down single-family housing starts and sales in the past year. The lack of for-sale homes, both new and existing, is driving prices up, which has resulted in many homeowners gaining needed equity and reduced delinquency rates. However, the number of distressed houses is still high. According to experts from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), who discussed these topics and more in a live webcast presenting the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report, millennials, minority households, baby boomers, and relaxed credit conditions will be the driving forces behind a healthy and sustained housing recovery.
JCHS research director, Chris Herbert, stated during the webcast that the U.S. is experiencing the lowest point of home ownership for 24- to 35-year-olds since we began tracking such information. “The number of 20-something’s living with their parents jumped to more than 2 million, an increase of 20 percent since 2000,” Herbert says. Several surveys and studies show that this age group wants to invest in housing, but high student debt and lower incomes are major hurdles. Having young homeowners is key, according to Herbert, because move-up buyers can’t do their part unless they can sell their entry-level homes.