Skip to main content
Affordable Housing , Community Development , Reports and Publications

New Study Raises Troubling Questions About Housing

18 May 2011

A new assessment of the near-term housing market predicts home ownership could drop below 60% nationally by 2020 and, combined with demographic trends and such economic forces as higher heating and energy costs, demand will grow for smaller homes and rentals in walkable locations near transit. The impact could have huge effects on the housing market, development trends and municipal grand lists and budgets.

The article from New Urban Network on housing trends for the next ten years can be found here.

The researcher found there will be an over-supply of single-family homes on large lots and an under-supply of multi-family homes in the coming years. The result: government housing programs and both for- and non-profit developers are likely to begin focusing on creating smaller, more energy-efficient housing options closer to transit to reduce heating and transit costs. The heightened demand for smaller units, combined with Connecticut's exodus of 25-34-year-old population could spell trouble for the state as Baby Boomers - hitting 65 this year, with Connecticut’s median age now up to 40 - begin what the article calls "The Great Senior Selloff."

The gloomy theory: without young buyers, seniors seeking to sell will get fewer offers for their homes, leading to lower sales prices, lower home values and shrunken grand lists. That could lead towns to hike mill rates, reduce services or both, leading to a lesser quality of life and a less attractive state for new residents and investments.

As one experienced land-use professional put it: "Food for thought."