The Housing Chronicles Blog: Latest column for Builder & Developer now online

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Latest column for Builder & Developer now online

My column for the December issue of Builder & Developer magazine is now online.

For this year-end column, I focused on how demographic changes in the U.S. population -- becoming older and more diversified -- will require home builders to adapt accordingly. An excerpt:

Over the past 30+ years, most of the new homebuilding activity was to follow the demands and tastes of the 78-million-strong Baby Boomer generation, from starter homes and move-up housing to vacation homes, retirement communities and even condominiums in urban locations.

But according to a series of presentations at the ULI Fall Conference & Urban Expo last month in San Francisco, demographic changes in the U.S. will force many builders and developers to change how they build for a population that is getting increasingly grayer (older) and browner (more diversified).

In addition, the 70-million-strong Generation Y, having largely grown up in quiet suburbs requiring cars to run simple errands, have morphed into a gadget-obsessed cohort whose penchant for urban-oriented, walkable communities and cynicism for traditional marketing techniques will require an entirely new skill set from an industry that has long relied on precedent in the hopes that each new rebound will be much like the last. Maybe not this time...

Click here for entire column.

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