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Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) recently released its report titled Improving America’s Housing 2017: Demographic Change and the Remodeling Outlook. The report explores demographic drivers in housing, including the aging population and influence of millennials, as well as the role updating and remodeling homes has on the market.
The report notes that the biggest challenge facing younger households is affordability. In particular, younger households are oftentimes confronted with high student debts and tough job markets, which makes entering homeownership much harder, and effectively slows homeownership rates in younger households. To this end, the report suggests that the fastest growing demographics will not be millennial households, but rather a mix of older homeowners, minority homeowners, and single persons and couples without children.
Nevertheless, JCHS anticipates remodeling expenditures will grow for all demographics. As millennials purchase older, more affordable homes, and baby boomers modify their homes to accommodate their needs while aging, there is an expected increase in renovations and remodeling. JCHS also outlines a number of home improvements that provide opportunities to make older, more affordable homes more appealing to growing demographics, including increased energy efficiency and high-tech retrofits.
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