BEND, OR -- Central Oregon's population is expected to increase by 76% in the next 30 years. Dr. Arthur Nelson talked about the expected housing needs for the area with the Bend City Council and City Club of Central Oregon, this week.
The Professor of Planning and Real Estate Development at the University of Arizona told the groups, "A lot of people sense that Bend is a magnet for elderly retirees, and it is, certainly. But, what surprises me is the share of the population over the age of 65 is less than the national average, and slightly less than Oregon. Yes, you'll be adding more seniors moving in, but they're going to be a smaller share of the population change than the national average and the state as a whole."
"About a third of the household growth will be in the peak demand housing group - those who need homes. But that's half of what it's been in the last 20 years, so your demographic composition is changing," he told the audience. "They're favoring something less than the larger single-family detached homes. Maybe something more like smaller homes, smaller lots, apartments, condos and townhouses."
Dr. Nelson adds, "But if you're looking ahead from a planning perspective between now and 2020 to 2030, I would recommend you, at least for now, assume that maybe 45% of the net change in demand for housing would be single-family detached homes - many of them renters; ten percent attached - town houses, basically; and 45% multi-family attached - apartments and condos and so forth." He says demand for single-family homes will continue, but many will seek smaller homes on smaller lots, due to younger people moving to the area and older Central Oregonians looking to downsize.