Estimating Future Housing Demand in Dane County

Posted by on Sep 20, 2022 in News | 0 comments

MADISON, WISC. (EXCERPTS FROM CARPC DANE COUNTY HOUSING REPORT) – The Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) issued its report on future housing needs for Dane County.

The CARPC report explores the reasons why we see more apartments and fewer single-family homes going up and whether this shift is likely to continue. Key takeaways from the report are:

  • Fewer households can afford new single-family houses. The cost of new single-family homes is far outpacing incomes, leaving a smaller pool of buyers. That means more renters and higher demand for apartments. The legacy of historic racial discrimination and a trend toward fewer family households with children also contribute to shrinking the pool of home buyers
  • This trend is likely to continue for a couple of reasons. One, incomes are unlikely to start rising faster than housing prices. Two, aging baby boomers will soon be older than 75 years of age and thus more likely to down-size from single-family homes, further increasing demand for multi-family housing. Three, most population growth will be comprised of people of color who often have less wealth caused by historic housing discrimination.
  • Most households, however, still prefer single-family homes according to national surveys. Covid and telecommuting have increased demand for larger homes in outlying communities. At the same time, people want to be close to workplaces, services, and amenities, even if that means buying a smaller home or renting.
  • Communities can help make home ownership more affordable by allowing and encouraging smaller homes. Communities already are starting to allow more small-lot single-family homes affordable to a wider range of people. Other options such as town homes, accessory dwelling units, and condominiums also are needed. Building such housing close to jobs, services, shops, and amenities can add value and reduce transportation costs.

And the question of whether all these apartments will fill up? According to just-released population estimates from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, more than 20,000 people were added to Dane County during the last couple years. This is a significant increase from the 7,000 people added per year during the 2010s. With another 200,000 people expected to join the Dane County community by 2050, an estimated 100,400 new housing units will be needed to accommodate continued growth.

At Vandewalle & Associates, we can help you analyze trends and market forces for your area and develop a solution that is right for your community using our proven “five angles of housing success” model.

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