All of these trends are leading, in general, to overwhelmingdemand for housing in most countries, Leanne Lachman, president ofLachman Associates and Executive-in-Residence of Columbia BusinessSchool, told the audience at the press conference at which thereport was released. Even those countries and regions wherepopulation is contracting--namely Europe and Japan--there aresignificant opportunities for housing development, Lachman, whoauthored the report, said.

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"Europe is entering a demographic slump. It will still needdevelopment but the new construction will replace existingstructures—-there will not be new net demand." Population losseswill be particularly acute in Russia and the former Soviet Unionstates. Investors should proceed cautiously and evaluate potentialdemand in Europe, she adds. With that said, there will be a strongneed for senior and medical care housing.

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Global aging, in fact, will be driving demand for senior andmedical care facilities in almost every market, she said. How thesetrends will actually translate into development, though, willdepend entirely on the market in question. In Europe, for instance,seniors tend to live within the city limits. In the US and Canada,the senior population is so diverse with such different needs,there will be any number of lifestyle choices seniors will expectto have available to them--assuming the current baby boomgeneration accepts that it is aging to the point where they needspecialized housing, Lachman said.

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Other trends shaping global housing demands include migrationand urbanization. Countries such as the US and Canada will alwayshave a need for housing to accommodate immigrants. Even emergingcountries are finding demand for housing fueled by migration, orrather urbanization, with more people seeking opportunities in thecities. Global tourism is also a growing development force, mostrecently seen in China as it readies itself for worldwide visitorsattending the Olympics.

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