If “Houses of Boom” had a subtitle, it would be “Drive2 Qualify”. Booomers will remember that phrase was the mantra of real-estate agents. Larger, more affordable properties were located further away, and that spurred longer commutes.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicavo has now quanitified what “Drive2qualify” means in financial terms. Using their map tool you can see how nearly 180,000 neighborhoods are affected when you add the cost of transportation to their cost of housing.
There are more dimension to this, waiting to be mapped: the physical time it takes to travel (google maps), the use of energy and dependence on fossil fuels for transportation, and the use of energy, and human investment in these longer commutes.
The data in this chart is not a revelation. Demographers have been pointing to this issue since the 1990s, calling it a “spatial mismatch” between family size, and housing stock. Now, financial people are wondering about its impact on the housing market (WSJ 3/7/2014- Michael Milken, op ed.) In Houses of Boom I raise this question: why did our cars get smaller and more efficient in the 1970’s, following the energy crisis, while our home sizes got smaller, and in some ways, less efficient. Is that trend about to reverse?
The Baby Boomer Housing Bust.
This is a basic article that lays open the seismic shift. In my book, “Houses of Boom” we go beyond the numbers and look at how people can prepare for this and secure their retirement and quality of life. Kudos to Forbes Magazine and this guest contributor for getting people involved and interested in the topic.
The issue has previously been discussed and commented on SubReddit:
Baby boomers’ approaching housing bust has business implications from business
photo by author, on location in Turkey. Nov. 2012.
Perhaps this is the world’s earliest mobile home? Inside there is a small wood cabin that can hold 10 or 15 people, and of course, stairs to reach this high point. Going forward, Boomers need to think out whether their homes are carrying them forward…where they want to go. Or, are these homes, like the TH (Trojan Horse) very toxic.