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What Would Boost the Real Estate Industry? More Babies

The U.S. birth rate is the lowest it’s been in more than 100 years, and pregnant homeowner couples are a top reason buyers decide to upgrade to a large house.

CHICAGO – The nation’s birth rate is at more than a 100-year low – the lowest level since the National Center for Health Statistics first started collecting such data. And that lower birth rate could have a future impact on housing demand, according to Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Birth rates have been declining since 2007 but have fallen at a faster clip since the pandemic.

“The baby bust has likely been fueled by economic and health concerns of women during the pandemic,” Lautz writes in NAR’s blog. “As some families saw women leave the workforce in the last year, it may not have been financially possible to add a new baby to the family. Some women may not have felt comfortable going into a doctor’s office during pregnancy or had limited family support systems due to safety concerns of COVID-19.”

The birth rate can have implications for real estate because pregnancy is often a leading housing decision, prompting new families to buy a home or desire a larger home, Lautz notes. The decline in childbirth coincides with fewer home buyers with children in the home.

In 1985, 58% of buyers had children under the age of 18. That percentage has since fallen to 33%, Lautz notes.

Source: “A Nearly Unbelievable Data Point: The Birth Rate,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (Oct. 4, 2021)

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