Sunday, February 28, 2021

New York Times: "Where Have All the Houses Gone?"

"This picture is a product of the pandemic, but also of the years leading up to it. And if half of what is happening in the for-sale market now seems straightforward — historically low interest rates and a pandemic desire for more space are driving demand — the other half is more complicated.

“The supply side is really tricky,” said Benjamin Keys, an economist at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. “Who wants to sell a house in the middle of a pandemic? That’s what I keep coming back to. Is this a time you want to open your house up to people walking through it? No, of course not.”

A majority of homeowners in America are baby boomers — a group at heightened risk from the coronavirus. If many of them have been reluctant to move out and downsize over the past year, that makes it hard for other families behind them to move in and upgrade."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

As a "baby boomer", we (my wife and I) are looking to downsize and the problem we find is that there is not an acceptable smaller option for us readily available in Franklin, or even in MA. While some of what I would like is available in the South (North, South Carolinas, etc...)  I don't want to go there. 

The article touches on this in mentioning baby boomers but doesn't get into the nature of the supply problem: What kind of inventory do we have? (Whether it is available or not is a separate piece for now). Do we have inventory that would meet the needs of the marketplace and the population now and near term?

Instead of building apartments why not serve the growing sector of the market (i.e. the aging boomers). The Town used the demographics to expand the Senior Center. How come the developers are not using those demographics?

New York Times:  "Where Have All the Houses Gone?"
New York Times:  "Where Have All the Houses Gone?"

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