Home prices certainly are not slowing down, especially in the Seattle Metro area. And, it’s not stopping Americans from becoming homeowners and buying more property, however, seniors are not trending the way that millennial’s are. The homeownership rate was 64.8% in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 64.4% in the third quarter and a flat 64% the year earlier, this makes the eighth straight quarter in which homeownership has increased. It’s at its highest level since 2014. But baby boomers and those over 65 are not the ones buying. The homeownership rate for anyone 65 and over actually dropped to 78.8% from 79.2% a year earlier. It looks like seniors are bucking the trend and instead of owning their homes longer are choosing to rent.
The number of renters over 60 has grown by 43% within the past decade, faster than any other age group according to an analysis from RentCafé.com. Compare that to the renters under 35, which only increased 7% over the last 10 years. Many economists predict that seniors will represent the second largest group of renters in the country by 2035. As adult children move out, seniors are finding themselves alone in a large house, which means there’s a lot to maintain and they’re rethinking their housing choices. Rentals and active adult communities seem to be a better option with low maintenance lifestyles, and an easier to maintain home and property.
This is actually a good thing for younger Americans looking to buy. These younger millennials and middle-aged Americans want a home large enough to maintain growing families. However, Freddie Mac stated in a recent survey the senior citizens may be contributing in part to the country’s current housing shortage. There may be over 1.4 million homes technically being held off the market by owners born between 1931 and 1947 who are choosing not to downsize. Although, predictions do suggest that seniors who eventually decide to switch to renting what offer those homes up to up-and-coming homeowners. It may not be the answer to the lack of new construction crisis, but it certainly would help.
Whether you’re looking to upsize, by your first home, downsize, or rent, give me a call. I can help find the right home for your needs and get you into a property that meets your lifestyle.