Market Not Ready for 'Demographic Tsunami'

September 16, 2014

A large demographic shift is looming as baby boomers age and a more ethnically diverse group of Millennials emerge, and the housing and mortgage finance industries may be ill-prepared to meet the changing demands, according to five former secretaries of Housing and Urban Development. The former secretaries spoke at the Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Summit in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

"HUD is not prepared for this demographic tsunami and neither is the country," said Henry Cisneros, a former Clinton-era HUD Secretary. "The older, aging population presents a number of challenges, as does the younger population with its greater diversity."

Cisneros noted that the housing market lacks the needed number of rental units to meet the demands of the growing young professional population.

Also, Mel Martinez, former HUD secretary under George W. Bush, said that he believes housing policy needs to address how it "subsidizes" home ownership, including deductions, down payment assistance, and how post-QM (qualified mortgage rules) is making it more difficult for some potential buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

"Additionally, clearer rules of the game are what the financial institutions are wanting," Martinez said.

Source: “Housing and Mortgage Financing Are Not Ready for Demographic Shift,” HousingWire (Sept. 15, 2014)