NATNews Blog > July 2016 > 55+ buyers remain actively engaged in real estate market

    55+ buyers remain actively engaged in real estate market

    7/25/2016 9:08:37 AM
    Freddie Mac released its monthly Insight for July with further analysis of the perceptions and plans of 55+ homeowners and the impact they'll have on the broader housing market for years to come, based on the results from the Freddie Mac 55+ Survey.
     
    According to Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac, conventional wisdom is not holding true in the current economic environment, with Millennials delaying their entry into the market, while the 55+ population is remaining uncharacteristically active in the marketplace, as they delay retirement.
     
    "In the conventional wisdom on the housing life cycle, the Millennials should be providing a surge in first-time homebuyers, while older generations should be moving to the next stage of their housing life,” Becketti said. “Gen Xers should be trading up from a starter home to a larger home. Baby Boomers should be selling their homes to Gen Xers and downsizing, renting, or moving to an age-specific community. And the Silent Generation should be thinking about moving to assisted living or moving in with adult children.
     
    "With the possible exception of Gen X, people are ignoring the conventional wisdom. Millennials are taking longer to marry, start families, and buy their first homes,” he explained. “And the 55+ population are working longer, aging in place, or buying an additional home (or two) rather than winding down. Furthermore, they expect to be an active part of our housing economy for quite a while longer."
     
    Further insights from the Freddie Mac survey include:
    • Individuals older than 54 comprise a little over a quarter of the population of the U.S., but they control roughly two-thirds of the equity in single-family homes.
    • Today's 65-year-old who bought the "average" house at age 30 has seen the value of that house increase 3.7 times.
    • The influence of the 55+ population will last a long time. Today's 65-year-old can expect to live until age 84 on average. In contrast, the life expectancy of the Greatest Generation -- those born between 1900 and 1924 -- was 47 years.
    • After bottoming out in the mid-1990s, the labor force participation rate of the 55+ population has been increasing.
    • More than a third of 55+ homeowners still have a mortgage, and a majority of those with a mortgage have more than ten years left until their loan is paid off.