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Holiday Forecast for 2008
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The times they are a-changing, and...

housing preferences along with them. The decline of the middle class, the differing birth rates of Caucasian and Hispanic women, the demographic dominane of the Boomer and Y generations, as well as a host of other sociological, economic and cultural factors drive hosuing preference shifts. But hey, this is a holiday forecast, not a housing blog so lets get to it.

Bike trails and open space are in, golfcourses are out in creating residential land values. Boomers between the ages of 46 and 64 now account for 20 percent of all bike riers over the age of 7. Mountain bikes are being replaced by road bikes with bigger seats and higher handlebars to reduce potential back strain of this aging bike set. Boomer businessmen and professionals are now cutting deals and exchanging information on association organized group rides. Another golf negative is the fact that many X-ers and Y-ers associate golf with their dads, and dare we say, granddads

High amenity cities don't just attract tourists. They are also becoming the location of choice for many of the Boomers and Y Generation. The higher income Boomers increasingly trade in their family-sized upscale suburban homes for condominiums laden with service amenities. Even in a down housing market, San Francisco's The Four Seasons and St. Regis condominiums with hotel services maintain both their occupancies and market values. The Y-ers don't mind doubling (tripling) up to maintain life in the city. Many of this generation grew up in the suburbs and have grown bored with the suburban lifestyle.

Affluent Boomers trading in their large suburban homes for condos near the bright lights are willing to reduce their storage space but are reluctant to significantly downsize their living space. As a result, larger condominium units will be in short supply.

High income Boomers who do not enjoy an urban lifestyle are more prone to seek out a rural housing destination, preferably one with view vistas and nearby sports activities like hunting or fishing, than they are golf course communities.

The second home phenomenon will continue to grow, as some of these Boomer househodls seek to maintain diverse lifestyles with both central city and rural homes.

Larger Hispanic hosueholds prefer living together in high density urban or suburban complexes that offer small internal play parks and shared gardens.

Traditional suburban lifestyles will increasingly be sought by many middle class black and Asian family households seeking safer neighborhoods, better schools and perceived upward mobility status. Don't forget your feng shui.

Gruen Gruen + Associates wishes you and your family a healthy, happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

image of 2008's annual holiday card

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