Homeownership Plymouth Cape Cod

Selling homes in my markets of Plymouth & Cape Cod over the past 10 years I’ve noticed no lack of ownership issues, rather many second homes purchased. But the other thing I’ve noticed is those buyers on the lower end of the scale (buying below median home prices) have a much more difficult time finding affordable homes and so homeownership is lower for this demographic group.

As you would expect the Boston area as a whole is a vibrant real estate market with average family incomes higher than most areas. But the cost of living in the area is also high, notwithstanding the price of homes.

As my headline suggests, the forecasts for continued growth and expansion of homeownership may not be a given as many industry analysts suggest even though job growth appears to have started climbing again. A recent Freddie Mac study is pointing out just where the majority of job growth is coming from and it is not a slam-dunk by any means. They looked at data from their housing forecast models and compared it to the Bureau of Labor Statistics where the future jobs are forecast to come from.

    Consider this:
    – Most new jobs are being created in service industries with low education requirements and the lowest rates of homeownership. This due to lower than average wages. No surprise, most of these jobs come from Retail, Food Service, Cashiers and waiters/waitresses.

    – Homeownership of higher earning professionals, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Computer/Technology professionals, is only projected to grow 10% or less. Lower than what many analysts are forecasting for needed growth overall.

    – The highest growth is projected for Registered Nurses, Operations Managers, Accountants and Elementary School Teachers. So is this the target market moving forward?

This is sobering data and figuring out what to do to expand housing markets will be a challenge. Will raising the minimum wage help? Given where the job growth is coming from, it would likely have to be in the area of $20-$30/hr. Vs. current rates per hour to have any real affect. In MA it is now at $8/hr. going to $10 in 2016 and $11 in 2017. Will there be more government programs? We’ve already seen how difficult it is to raise the minimum wage via Congress.

Housing has always been a key driver of the U.S. economy as it affects so many industries, companies, jobs and the fiscal health of the country. I have faith that we will get it right. The question is how long will this require?

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