Boomers and childless Millennials want smaller houses

Housing demandHousing demand will change dramatically in the next 30 years, as aging baby boomers, singles and childless couples demand smaller houses on smaller lots. They will prefer attached housing – duplexes and garden apartments — and more of them will choose to rent.

The report is the work of University of Utah Professional Arthur C. Nelson, author of Reshaping Metropolitan America. He spoke at the Michigan Association of Planning’s Spring Institute on March 27. You can find a good summary in a February, 2014 report on the Better Cities and Towns blog.

Nelson says that, in the coming 30 years, seniors’ percentage of U.S. population will rise from 13 to 20 percent. The number of households without children and the number of single-person households will increase dramatically, while growth in the 35-64 category will wane, and that is the category that drove sales of large-lot suburban homes between 1990 and 2010. While there’ll still be demand for large lots, the market will not grow as quickly as before.

Of new households, half will choose to rent, a percentage that has been increasing since 2004.