Urban Planning Professor Arthur C. Nelson on Why Cities Need to Make Their Housing Stock ‘Nimbler’

Dec. 10, 2021


Urban housing with construction
Photo by F. Muhammad, courtesy Pixabay.

Arthur C. Nelson, professor of urban planning and real estate development in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona, was quoted extensively for his insight on demographic trends in housing in “The Housing Crunch is Real,” an article by Steve Wright in the Fall 2021 issue of the National Association of Realtors' On Common Ground.


Arthur C. Nelson
Arthur C. Nelson, Professor of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development

Nelson focuses on long-term demographic trends, including the link between the pandemic and the housing market boom of this year. “The younger generations were accumulating some money [because] the pandemic shut things down so there was nothing to spend money on and with two percent interest rates—the market came together nicely for millennials and they moved to the suburbs,” he says.

The linkage between the pandemic, low interest rates and suburban housing availability has changed the way people buy homes: “Cities need to do more to make their current housing stock nimbler.”

Nelson concludes that senior citizens will begin to sell their homes and meet an unfavorable market due to the shifting needs of new homeowners: “Seniors, whose biggest asset is the home they own, will sell their home for much less than they hoped—or not be able to sell at all. Public policy must address this mismatch of housing needs.”

Read the full article. or learn more about planning and developing housing in CAPLA's Master of Science in Urban Planning and Master of Real Estate Development programs. 

Nelson joined CAPLA in 2014 after serving as presidential professor and director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. As the author of nearly 30 books and more than 400 other scholarly publications and principal investigator or co-principal investigator of more than $50 million in grants, Nelson ranks 9th nationally among more than 1,000 planning professors in the quality of published work based on scientific metrics.


Arthur C. Nelson, Professor of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development


Quoted in On Common Ground, a Magazine of the National Association of Realtors


Fall 2021