I have been pondering for several months since the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores, whether or not the birth rates will escalate or be reduced due to the pandemic. What effect will it have on future real estate purchases and the housing market and our economy at that time?
I know that in my family we have a new one on the way in January 2021, so the pandemic didn’t stop them, and I am wondering how many more decided to finally take the plunge and not wait and just procreate and do it. But how many couples decided to hold off until the virus subsided or a safe and effective vaccine would be produced? Yes, there are surely many who are obviously concerned and rightly so and probably had plans to consider having children this year and next year. But with such uncertainties and the challenges in becoming pregnant in this precarious environment as well as predicting when and how will this most deadly virus just pass and go away by itself and vanish is the $64,000 question.
Will the vaccine that is supposedly coming out before the election or by the end of the year be fully tested and safe with the least amount of side effects? Who really knows and what will the ramifications be as people take the shot and become inoculated? Will they need a repeat of the vaccination every year like the regular flu shot, which is barely effective due to the CDC not really knowing which flu strain will hit us the worst? They see what is happening in the Asian countries to try to determine which vaccine should be created and distributed, but less than 50 percent of people take the shot each year and the death rate as reported by the Centers for Disease Control had ranged from 12,000 to 61,000 since 2010.
During the 2018-2019 season, the CDC estimates 16.5 million people went to a health care provider for the flu and more than 34,000 people died in the United States. The prior season saw 61,000 deaths, according to U.S. News and World Report (Jan 30, 2020). Now with the death rate of Covid heading toward 200,000 and far surpassing the death rate caused by the flu a few years ago and with both viruses coming on board over the next four to six months, what will the casualties be?
I will be taking my yearly flu shot toward the end of October as recommended by the CDC in their literature online because it will last longer than taking it in September. Being healthy will surely assist in minimizing the effects of the flu, but now with the Covid pandemic, many infectious practitioners are predicting higher than normal death rates, but we won’t find out the true number until the flu season has subsided sometime next year.
The information that I have provided was not to scare, worry or predict what will actually happen but only to provide a guesstimate based on current information and analysis to determine and try to figure out if the birth rate will increase or decrease and in turn affect our housing market in 25-30 years. Will there be a sufficient number of purchasers when they will be of the age and have the required income to purchase or will there be a deficiency in demand to satisfy the current housing inventory at that time? How critical will it be to our economy and jobs?
Many of us will still be alive, in their 80s and 90s, and even greater numbers of octogenarians whose group has been increasing every year. What effect will they have on our housing market, assisted living and nursing homes and, most crucial of all, Social Security? Only time will tell and determine the outcome, which could be extremely beneficial if we do something about it now or disastrous to our economy. What will we do now and in the very near future to not only think about it but plan, invest and be proactive to find common sense and logical solutions to stem the negative tide of what the results just might be? To be able to turn it around to produce a more positive and fortuitous outcome that will have a major effect on the U.S. population and our way of life?
Lastly, if birth rates are reduced to a much less than normal level, will there be enough individuals 25-30 years from now or even sooner for the jobs available, or if more jobs are needed will there be enough, based on artificial intelligence taking over more and more of our high paying manufacturing positions as well as a multitude of other everyday jobs?
I realize that having children is a huge responsibility and when bringing them into this chaotic, crazy and somewhat uncertain world today can be extremely challenging financially and mentally. However, it is a necessity if we are to survive as a strong and productive nation. The following link provides important pertinent information on Covid-19’s effect on low to middle-income families: https://www.guttmacher.org/infographic/2020/covid-19-could-have-catastrophic-effect-sexual-and-reproductive-health-low-and
The Brookings Institute predicts a decrease in births by f anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 in 2021. The following link will provide additional information as to the catastrophic and major impact that this may potentially and possibly have on real estate and our economy in the future among other variables that too will affect how we do business!
So my suggestion is for everyone who was contemplating and thinking about putting off having children due to Covid-19 would be to think again and maybe not worry as much, since so many people are “worrywarts.” Just be prepared by staying safe, wearing your masks, using hand sanitizer often and staying as healthy as possible by eating quality foods, (much less meat!). Stay away from the constant ingesting of cookies, candy, and crap (fast food) that many eat (with the U.S. having a population with a 65 percent plus obesity and overweight rate!) and lastly, begin to exercise or do more and get off the couch, couch potatoes!. Those who are of the mindset and ability to have children can and will have a truly marked effect to increase births and change the story line of what is prognosticated and the the effect that Covid-19 will have on our population, real estate, and the U.S. economy in the future years to come.
Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas and suggestions on future columns with your name, email and cell number and he will call or email you back. For a consultation, he can be reached by Cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions or concerns.