WITH BIDDING WARS heating up, con­struc­tion booming, and mort­gage rates still at his­toric lows, the housing market is finally on the rise — but a new problem might be on the horizon. And the baby boomers now pon­dering down­sizing could be to blame.

When empty nesters decide en masse to try and unload those sprawling homes in Newton and Wellesley in the coming decade — and with them all the yard­work, main­te­nance, and heating bills — experts fear the glut of houses could burst this area’s fragile recovery. Boomer housing is “a very hot topic right now,” says Dav­en­port Crocker Jr., regional vice pres­i­dent for Cold­well Banker Res­i­den­tial Bro­kerage in Mass­a­chu­setts. “At the midyear meeting of the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Real­tors, there was dis­cus­sion of that pending avalanche of homes.”

According to a 2012 report pre­pared by the non­profit Bipar­tisan Policy Center, seniors nation­wide will try to sell up to 11.3 mil­lion housing units this decade, and up to 15 mil­lion more between 2020 and 2030, which “may result in a long period of slack housing demand in the North­east and Mid­west, begin­ning just in time for the recovery of national housing mar­kets in the mid-​​2010s.”

But the out­look isn’t quite that dire, says Barry Blue­stone, director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. “Will this retiring baby boom gen­er­a­tion dec­i­mate the market? I don’t think that will happen,” he says. How­ever, “we’re not going to have another price spike,” he adds. In his Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2012, Blue­stone pre­dicted that home prices might not return to 2005’s peak until as late as 2031. (Ouch.) He says recent data sug­gest prices should rise sooner, “but not at extra­or­di­narily high rates.”

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