Current Seniors Positioned to Have Significant Impact on Housing Market

Freddie Mac released consumer research today indicating that seniors (age 55+) control almost two-thirds, or $8 trillion of the nation’s total home equity. As a result of this, the decisions that they make in the future will have a very strong effect on shaping the housing market. This survey is the GSE’s first in regards to American seniors, a population of 67 million people, noting the impact that they have and will continue to have on home prices, housing stock, and its transition from one generation to the next. The overall message shows that homeownership is working as expected by this generation and that confidence is high.

To support this finding, the GSE presents a number of statistics:

  1. 76% of senior homeowners conveyed confidence in a comfortable retirement, including all minority populations, both retirees and those who are still working.
  2. There are strong links between homeownership and satisfaction with their home, community, and financial situation.
  3. 96% surveyed feel that homeownership makes financial sense.
  4. 25% indicated that they also helped someone else financially with a down payment for a home.

The survey’s explanation as to why the Baby Boomer generation is driving the housing market for Millenials include the fact that 63% of seniors reported that they prefer to age in place, but also that 40% would prefer to move one more time, suggesting that nearly 27 million homes will be up for sale, with 13% of those expected in the next 4 years. Top factors indicating whether to move and where to live include cost and convenience.

These findings indicate a consistent and confident fluidity in the resources of the older generation, increasing the feeling of security and engagement in housing commerce, driving availability for Millenials entering the housing market.