We can almost certainly expect to see a growth and shift in the American population in the years to come, which leaves builders questioning what to build and where to build new homes in the future. Hanley Wood, parent company of Builder, recently held a conference in Washington, DC among scholars, economists, technology experts and demographers to discuss this very issue. Among the data gathered, some of the most interesting came from real estate advisory firm Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO).
According to Charles Hewlett, RCLCO’s managing director and speaker at the Future of Housing Symposium, the American population will increase by another 100 million people by 2040, 60% of that jump within just 22 U.S. markets. Between now and 2025, RCLCO’s research suggests 85% of net household growth will consist of childless households. Some of the major groups leading the way towards changing the face of housing include Generation Y, Women, and Minorities.
If Generation Y, the group born between 1981 and 1999, begins purchasing their first homes within the next few years as expected, there will be more first-time home buyers in the market in 2013 to 2018 than ever before. RCLCO predicts by 2015 women, the majority of the workforce, will dominate the urban landscape preferring a walkable environment. And in the very near future, Hispanics will make up 40 percent of all first-time home buyers.
Hewlett ended his presentation with a few key points for builders:
- When designing a new home, take into account decreasing household sizes.
- Don’t ignore the importance of suburbs and the need for gathering spaces, shopping, employment, and more.
- Very importantly, “Figure out what women want… .”
Want to read the full RCLCO report from the Future of Housing Symposium? Click here.