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Age Demographics Will Open Up Housing Supply 

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Based on a report from ATTOM Data Solutions, the aging of the American population will have a positive impact on the housing crisis. The report estimates that within the next decade, 38 percent of the U.S. population, or 66 million people, will be over the age of 65. Additionally, 25.8 million new households will be formed during the same period, with 13.3 million households moving to homes where the prior owner has passed on or has moved to assisted living.

The aging of households is also expected to fuel demand for higher density and lower-maintenance living, which could include cottage and apartment communities as well as granny flats that allow people to be closer to children and grandchildren. The new tax laws that increase the standard deduction remove the advantages of owning versus renting for many lower-income households, which typically include retirees, so the move to rental housing by this group is expected to increase. New households moving to homes left behind by those who passed on or moved will likely result in the updating and modernization of those homes to meet the needs of the younger generation.

The report also says that 62 percent of the population growth in the next decade is expected to be in southern states such as Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, along with surrounding states where 42 percent of the U.S. population already resides. An abundance of jobs, affordable housing and warm weather are listed as main factors.

The fourth demographic trend in the report is the trend of more affluent immigrants wanting to come to the U.S. from countries that are prospering economically, such as China and Brazil.

Many are very concerned about the current state of housing in Central Oregon, but research like this is a reminder about the many factors to consider when seeking solutions to the problem. The aging of the population and demand for higher density, low-maintenance living quarters should be considered in zoning future development to meet those needs, and will hopefully open up additional existing housing for new households to form.



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