Microblog #104: Housing past and housing future.

The 2010s were a pivotal decade for housing. Here’s what we think will define the next ten years.

A decade ago we were in the midst of a housing crash hangover. In 2010, foreclosure rates hit their peak, and unemployment neared 10 percent. Today, home prices are soaring and new jobs are added each month. So why does it feel like we’re still hungover? (And no, we’re not talking about New Years.)

Here’s what defined the last decade for us:

  • Home prices may have rebounded from the recession, but our wages seriously lagged behind.
  • More people are staying in or moving to cities—although limited inventories keep prices high.
  • Since not everyone benefited from the recovery, housing is now a mainstream political issue in many parts of the country. (See: YIMBYS)
  • New research dramatically illuminated how prevalent—and destructive—evictions are for American families.

Thoreau once said to “Never look back unless you plan to go that way,” so let’s look ahead. Here are our office’s bold predictions for housing in the coming decade:

  • As Gen Z’s graduate college, they’ll develop housing co-ops to preserve social networks—maybe even by taking advantage of those big McMansions in the suburbs. (Flora)
  • “NestN’B”—the new long-term rental program brought to you by AirBnB—will allow empty nesters to rent out a spare bedroom in their home once their millennial children have moved, and a portion of the rent goes to subsidize the unaffordable rates that their children are paying in New York or D.C. (Julia)
  • We’ll start to feel the first major effects of climate change on the housing market as families look to move away from flood and fire prone areas en masse. (Sophie)
  • The collective power of NIMBYism will slowly erode as advocates—along with more politicians and planners than ever—expand their efforts to promote density and affordability. (Jonathan)
  • By 2030, the U.S. will have more households who rent than own their homes. (Erica)
  • After 50 years, E.F. Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful” axiom will finally be proven right: new home sizes will begin a decade long decline. (Bob)

Did we miss anything? Or do you have a smart prediction of your own? Let us know!


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