Newcomers from other states and abroad are principally responsible for North Carolina’s population boom–growth by 3.9 million– since 1990. However, seven powerful demographic disruptors—analogous to gale force wind gusts in an adverse weather event—can potentially quell future growth and demand for residential and commercial real estate. Strategies to circumnavigate the adverse effects of the demographic gale force winds ahead are discussed.
North Carolina has been a major migration magnet—and by extension, one of the nation’s most rapidly growing states over the past three decades, adding 3.9 million people since 1990. The state’s population boom has afforded the real estate industry enormous opportunities to create residential communities and commercial properties that align with the lifestyles and consumer preferences of individuals and families coming to live, work, play, and do business in our state. However, seven powerful demographic disruptors—analogous to gale force wind gusts in an adverse weather event—can potentially stymie future population growth and demand for all types of real estate in the years ahead. This article provides a general overview of the population boom and delves into the details of the seven demographic gale force winds that our nation and this state will face. It concludes with the likely consequences of failing to address these demographic disruptors and outlines the policy domains that require lobbying investments to mitigate the potentially adverse effects of impending demographic shifts on real estate markets.