Tuesday, January 21, 2020

econlife - The Baby Boomer Home Sale Surge by Elaine Schwartz


Recently, homes.com identified the cities that were best for each generation.

For the Baby Boomers, they named places with good healthcare and retiree-friendly taxes. The group behind them, the Gen X’ers, cared about management jobs and local schools. And the Millennials tended toward entry-level work and affordable starter homes.

Then, after checking who lived where, researchers created the ranking:




Meanwhile other groups have looked at where the elderly live:




And where they are migrating:




What does it all mean? A huge baby boomer impact.

The Baby Boomer Impact

We should start by identifying the boomers:



Housing Markets

Baby Boomers will have to decide whether to move, stay put, rent, or downsize. Seeing their health decline, some will look for retirement communities. So yes, their decisions will vary but the results will not. They will be selling their houses. Because close to one in every three 60 year olds owns a home, the result could be an avalanche hitting the market. Some estimate it could be 21 million houses for sale by 2037:





These areas could be hit the hardest:



Our Bottom Line:  Supply and Demand

Numbering more than 75 million, Baby Boomers will have a huge impact on housing markets. The good news is that a surge in supply could make homes more affordable. Adding detail from the demand side, a Harvard report projects that Millennials will (finally) have the spouses and children that make them decide to buy a house. And, while not as high as in the past, home ownership rates have been picking up.

But the bad news is the diminished financial security created by the Great Recession, new student debt highs, and, returning to where we began, Millennials and Gen X’ers might not want to live where the homes will be sold.

My sources and more: The NY Times tells us where the boomers will live. From there, the housing facts multiplied. For much more detail, you might want to look at WSJ, BusinessInsider, MarketWatch, and The Washington Post. And finally, the research was at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Stanford Center on Longevity.


Ideal for the classroom, econlife.com reflects Elaine Schwartz’s work as a teacher and a writer. As a teacher at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, she’s been an Endowed Chair in Economics and chaired the history department. She’s developed curricula, was a featured teacher in the Annenberg/CPB video project “The Economics Classroom,” and has written several books including Econ 101 ½ (Avon Books/Harper Collins). You can get econlife on a daily basis! Head to econlife.