Boomers Staying Put
It seems to be almost an article of faith that as the Boomer age group (those born after the end of World War II through 1964) are deciding more and more to move and down size as they age. The logic put forth to explain this always seems to be quite logical. There's just one thing--it may not be nearly as true as the idea's proponents would have you believe.
“There’s a perception, particularly in many media reports, that this massive generation born between 1946 and 1964 is altering its housing consumption,” said Fannie Mae researcher Patrick Simmons, in a recent interview in the Chicago Tribune.
“It’s true that they’re becoming empty nesters in droves,” Simmons said. “But by one measure, the proportion of boomers who live in single-family homes actually increased between 2006 and 2012.”
He noted that 90 percent of baby boomers in a recent AARP survey said they want to stay in their current home as long as possible.
Simmons is director of strategic planning for Fannie Mae’s economic group, and he said some boomers may be staying put because of the recent housing crisis, when the value of their single-family homes dropped by an average of 13 percent.
Some boomers could still be underwater and are waiting to recoup more on their house before they sell, he said. Others may be holding on to their home because they were able to get a record-low mortgage rate in recent years and they know borrowing won’t be any cheaper if they do decide to sell.
“Eventually, boomers will slow down with age and have the same physical frailties that their predecessors had,” he said. “My sense is that it’s not going to be a major shift, something we see in the numbers in a year. It will likely unfold over a decade or more.”
So, if you're a Boomer and someone tells you that you should move on--that "everyone in your age group" is doing so, don't feel obliged to pay them any attention.
However, if you'd like to update your knowledge of the local real estate market, or check out the value of your home, give us a call. We'd be happy to advise. Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091.