Housing is becoming more difficult to find and more expensive. There aren’t enough places for people to buy or rent. Housing costs are reaching the highest they’ve ever been.
Why is the Housing Shortage Happening?
The housing shortage is due to many reasons; Home builders can’t build at a pace that keeps up with the demand. Cities lack sufficient land to build on. People who already own homes aren’t up-sizing or downsizing, which restricts the market circulation of homes.
Why Do People Blame Seniors?
Baby boomers are an easy scapegoat when it comes to someone to blame for housing prices. Most people believe that seniors will downsize into smaller homes when their children leave home then younger families who were in starter homes can move into a bigger house. This allows first-time home buyers to move into smaller homes.
Since the financial crisis, the cycle of home ownership has come to a halt. Boomers are staying in their houses longer because they’re living longer and more independently than previous generations. They’re also working longer, so they have the income to stay in a large house if they want to.
What’s Actually Happening?
The relationship between solo-living baby boomers and high housing costs is more complicated than the prevailing narrative.
There’s no doubt that people are staying longer in their homes, limiting the number of houses for sale. The average time a homeowner spends in a single home has increased since the financial crisis from about four years to more than eight years.
It’s true that more homes are occupied by baby boomers who live alone. Baby boomers are a huge generation, so as they age they’re increasing the overall number of senior citizens across different age groups.
What the Data Shows?
Data shows that the percentage of homeowners and renters living alone has been growing steadily since 2005, mainly due to the sheer number of boomers moving into older age compared to previous generations.
There is no such thing as a national housing market, people looking for homes for sale in Dallas aren’t looking for homes in Chicago. This means that to assess what impact boomers living alone are having on the housing market, one has to look at each city’s housing market individually.
The most expensive cities in the country—New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles—do not have an excess of boomers who can downsize to a smaller house, meaning boomers are not causing affordability problems in the least affordable places.
Furthermore, the cities that have the most boomers who could downsize are among the most affordable in the country, so if they decided to downsize en mass, it wouldn’t alleviate any serious problem. Depending on how many boomers downsized and when, it could theoretically cause a housing market crash, especially given the cities in question are clustered in areas of the Midwest that have struggled to attract jobs and retain younger workers. However, it’s unlikely that boomers would cause what’s currently a housing shortage to turn into a housing surplus.
Fairmont Grand Senior Living Community
Fairmont Grand is a resident centered senior living and memory care facility in Rapid City, SD. Our goal is to create an environment where resident well-being is at the heart of everything we do.
Our wide range of services are designed to meet you or your loved one’s daily needs. We offer restaurant style dining options, a variety of physical activities, and give residents the opportunity to live as independently as possible.