How demographics shaped the housing market in 2021

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As we come to the end of 2021, we also approach the end of another year living with COVID-19. The year 2020 was one of the most chaotic times in recent history. Although 2021 seems normal in comparison, it is perhaps even stranger because as a country, we have learned to normalize the consumption of goods and services with an active virus infecting and killing Americans each day. An often-forgotten turn of luck for the American economy is that the housing market entered a period of the best housing demographics ever recorded in history the same year that COVID grabbed hold of us.

As I always stress every time I can, housing broke out before COVID-19 hit us. February data that we got in the second half of March was the first real breakout in housing data post-2010.

If COVID-19 had become the worldwide menace five years earlier, the U.S. would not have the demographic clout to drive the housing market — and it was the housing market that led us out of the COVID-19 brief recession. Yes, it was short; it ended in April of 2020.

Likewise, if the housing market did not have COVID-19 to dampen demand for a short time, we would not have to debate forbearance so much. The forbearance crash bros of 2020 blew it badly.

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