Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lucy's UVa Report on a Different Path to a Housing Rebound

William Lucy (Virginia--urban & environmental planning) has authored a report titled A Different Path to a Housing Rebound.  From the UVa press release:

September 24, 2010 — Changing demographics are the main cause of today's housing surplus, according to new research by a University of Virginia urban and environmental planning professor. The path to a housing market rebound doesn't lie in new construction, William Lucy found, but in rethinking housing needs based on changing demographics.

Lucy based his report on a review of U.S. Census Bureau data, U.S. Housing Market Conditions: Historical Data, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports, Joint Center for Housing Studies and research by the Urban Land Institute and other scholars.

"Surplus housing is not caused by either excessive new construction or by foreclosure," Lucy said, noting that only 20 percent of housing units for sale or sold in 2009-10 were new houses and foreclosures. 

The press release webpage includes a short, informative YouTube interview with Prof. Lucy.  There is also a link to the report and to his supporting data tables.  He concludes that the future of the housing market is in recognizing the demand for housing options based on location and demographics.  

More decentralized, multidimensional and shared solutions by developers, builders and government are required, and opportunities for fix-up, remodeling, expansion and condominium projects in cities and inner suburbs, fueled by preferences for convenient locations, will be the economic driver in the housing market in the future, Lucy predicts.

"Revival of housing may be slower than many wish, and it will not be a full early partner in moving employment toward its previous peak," Lucy said. "It is time to move on to a richer, more varied and enhanced quality of life with the convenience and energy efficiency that denser settlements can provide."

Matt Festa

Housing, Mortgage Crisis, Real Estate Transactions, Scholarship, Suburbs, Urbanism | Permalink

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