With the population aging and fewer young people to take the place of baby boomers, the demand for housing may slow for years to come, keeping home values from increasing as they have done since World War II, according to at least one well-known housing expert.

We can no longer assume that housing will be as good an investment for the future as it has been, said Robert Reich, public policy professor at the University of California-Berkeley and U.S. Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration.

Reich isn't predicting that buying a home will no longer be a good financial strategy, just that the value of real estate won't climb as rapidly.

People in the middle class, although stressed, will still want homes, and homeownership will still be part of the American dream, he said. House prices will continue to rise, just more slowly than they did in the past 70 years.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Peter Y. Hong (10/05/2009)