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In the March 2013 issue we reviewed Arthur C. Nelson’s book, Reshaping Metropolitan America, but some of the numbers in the book are worth further consideration and analysis.
One of Nelson’s main findings is that a demographic wave of Millennials, who are delaying having children and strongly prefer urban places, combined with the downsizing Baby Boomers, will transform the character of the housing market in the next two decades.
There will still be plenty of households with children in America — Nelson forecasts more than 38 million in 2030. But these households will make up a very small share of the nation’s growth — and therefore a small share of the growth in the housing market. The table at below presents the data. The majority of the growth will be single-person households.
“The bottom line is that a new reality has emerged: The future of American planning and public policy will be geared to meeting the needs of households without children, with half the new market being single-person households,” Nelson says. “Yet, our planning, zoning, and development codes remain rooted in reality that no longer exists — that of mass family and child-oriented markets.”
Household type shifting
The market share