Looking Through the Crystal Ball


As you look back over the last 25 years the building industry has seen its fair share of ups and downs.   In order to navigate through these cycles of recession and building booms we as builders must adapt and look into the crystal ball for what the future may bring.   It’s important to be able to see the trends, adjust and adapt to the changing market.

Housing is one of the constants, people want and need a place to live.  To some the hope of building and owning their own home is still “The American Dream”.  Though single-family housing starts are still climbing, the demand on multi-family and rental properties is climbing at a slightly faster pace.  So, what is changing and what should we be looking for in the future?

Let’s look at what we know.  A large portion of the aging population will look to relieve themselves of the burden of home-ownership when they are unable to do for themselves.  This is evidence by the increase of Senior communities and assisted living properties.  A smaller portion of them will sell the family home and build new smaller more accessible single-family residences.   However, the uptick lately has been for Baby Boomers to build “In-Law Apartments” onto their homes to care for their aging parents.  Let’s come back to the Baby Boomers in a bit and talk about our Millennials.   The Millennials are a massive generation that is at the prime age for obtaining “The American Dream” of a home.   They will easily swallow up the supply of existing Single-family homes and continue to drive the industry forward in new housing starts.   Because of the sheer size of the Millennial Generation they are in fact pushing both ends of the industry.  If half the Millennials seek home-ownership as their dream the other half is seeking a simpler, more convenient way of life as a renter.  Multi-family and mixed-use light commercial properties draw in the Millennials with their conveniences, luxury and maintenance free living.  I believe that this is a market that will continue to thrive through the next 10 years.

Now let’s go back to the Baby Boomers and look into the crystal ball.    What will the Baby Boomers do?  Will they downsize as their parents did before them or will they change to the way of the Millennial and embrace the convenience of being a renter?  One thing’s for sure, Baby Boomers could have a profound effect on the demand for rental properties if the majority chooses to go that route.   Builders & Developers will need to keep an eye on the Baby Boomers and look to shift some of their properties toward multi family rentals.

As we watch the economy and housing trends, keep an eye on that crystal ball.   At Harvest Homes we deliver the tools necessary for our Builders to meet any of their housing needs.    With the use of panelized systems, we can efficiently manufacture and deliver an addition in 1 day and a typical single-family home in 2 days, that’s a fraction of the time it takes to “stick frame on site”.  To keep up with housing demands our Builders can erect and weather tight the shell of a 22,000 square foot 20-unit apartment building in 15 days.  So, no matter what direction the demand leads to we at Harvest Homes are ready to meet them.

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