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housing oversupply

A Skeptical View of Housing

Adam R.'s picture

Posted January 5, 2009

The Atlantic Monthly says that the United States will have an oversupply of around 22 million single-family homes by 2030.  The estimate comes from conclusions made by various demographers and planners.

If our supply of housing stock were to remain constant, then this prediction says that two in five single family homes will be empty.  It is a statement that suggests a catastrophic impact upon the urban landscape.

One possibility suggested by this prediction is an end to suburbia.  James Kunstler has already imagined what this might look like in his book, The Long Emergency, but that conclusion is driven by a shortage of a different sort.  In that case, it is a lack of fossil fuels.  Here, the oversupply stems from another force - demography.  Perhaps it is all the more troubling that the scenarios are not mutually

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