Study: Baby Boomers Shift the Homeownership Landscape

Homeownership is in decline, according to a new report examining the state of the nation’s housing. The rate of homeownership was just 64.5 percent last year, which eradicates nearly all of the increase in the previous 20 years.

The national home ownership rate remains as high as it is because baby boomers are older than 50 when homeownership rates are traditionally high, according to the report. A few if the factors contributing to the decline include a “steady erosion” of household incomes since the start of the recession along with restricted access to financing. However, the last 10 years have been the best for renter growth since the 1980s.

However, in another decade or so, the oldest baby boomers will be in their late 70s, “a time of life when living independently often becomes difficult. By 2025, the large and growing population of seniors is likely to drive up demand for alternative housing arrangements that offer a combination of affordability, accessibility and supportive services.”

“State of the Nation’s Housing” from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University notes that over the next two decades, the number of adults 70 and over will increase by 91 percent. “The existing housing stock is unprepared to meet the needs of a large and growing senior population. Many older adults live alone, have at least one type of disability, and have limited resources to pay for suitable housing. As a result, the demand for units that are affordable, accessible, and provide social connection as well as supportive services will grow increasingly acute over the next two decades.”