Baby Boomers vs. Millennials
Two demographics influencing the housing market are baby boomers and fist-time buyers plagued by student loan debt. Both groups are leaving stagnant markets and low turnovers.
Baby boomers themselves control about two-thirds of the nation’s aggregate home equity, which computes to about $8 trillion. Whether they decide to move from their current place, downsize or age in place, the cumulative impact of their decisions on mortgage demand, housing options to Millennials and other aspiring homeowners will be substantial.
In a recent survey by Freddie Mac, 63 percent of respondents age 55 and over prefer to age in place, which computes to 42 million homeowners spread out across the entire 55+ demographic. These numbers suggest baby boomers’ housing decisions over the next few years “will take our market to brand new places.” says Freddie Mac Economist Sean Becketti.
Not only are baby boomers staying put, so are Millennials buried in student debt. Nearly three-quarters of people who are repaying student loans say their debt is hindering them from buying a home, according to surveys released by the nonprofit American Student Assistance.
More staggeringly, nearly half of those surveyed said their debt is expected to delay their home buying for at least five more years.
The housing market feels these affects keenly, as the homeownership rate among the 35-and-younger crowd has plummeted from 44 percent at the height of the housing boom to 34 percent today.