News & Media
young woman and older woman hugging
MoMo Productions / Getty Images

The Big Question: What Are Boomers Going to Do?

Boomers’ choices will impact the housing market. Will most hunker down in their current home? Will their kids’ demand more multi-gen homes? No one knows yet.

NEW YORK – The octogenarian population in the U.S. is projected to double over the next two decades, and that could change what households are looking for in their next home.

A large portion of the 80-something population will likely end up in senior housing or assisted living, but their first choice tends to be moving in with family. That will likely spark greater interest in homes with an “in-law unit” or garage apartment.

Investors and homebuilders are putting more focus on multigenerational living in single-family housing, believing it will be a bigger trend as the so-called “silver tsunami” strikes the housing market.

National Association of Realtors®’ data found that 12% of multigenerational home purchases were made with the intention of moving in aging parents, and a lot more shoppers may already have multi-gen households on their minds: Research from John Burns Real Estate Consulting suggests that more than 40% of Americans are shopping for a home with their older relatives in mind.

That number of multigenerational households is expected to grow as baby boomers get older. From 2011 to 2016, the number of households headed by baby boomers age 65 to 74 increased to more than 17 million – a 26% increase. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies’ data also showed that the number of head-of-households 80 or older rose by 71% in that time.

But many seniors don’t really want to move.

“Interestingly, the option that may contribute most to the affordable housing crisis is ‘aging in place’ – where seniors simply stay put in the homes they bought 40 or 50 years ago, even though they can’t use the space anymore,” The Motley Fool reports. “It’s the status quo, but it’s a problem for millennials struggling to gain a foothold.”

These staying-in-place seniors, however, may be more willing to move in with their family; and, as a result, more buyers may be looking for a home that can accommodate multiple ages under one roof.

Source: “Will Your Next Home Have Room for an Aging Parent?” The Motley Fool (Feb. 17, 2020)

© Copyright 2020 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688