More aging Americans are choosing to stay in place rather than migrate after retirement, a trend which could ease up housing competition for first-time buyers, Realtor.com reports. Younger buyers looking for smaller, more affordable homes will find more availability without boomer competition, but Gen X buyers looking to upgrade into larger homes will see fewer options on the market.
As more baby boomers choose to stay put, remodeling will be a growth area with greater demand for functional design changes and greater home accessibility for an aging population. In AARP’s recent home and community survey, the majority of homeowners opting to remain in their communities also said that they plan to renovate their forever homes to live safely and to feel more comfortable.
Baby boomers staying put could be a boon to cash-strapped, first-time buyers if there are fewer wealthier baby boomers putting offers on the same, smaller homes, says Ali Wolf, chief economist at Meyers Research, a housing market data firm. Boomers and millennials have historically competed for similarly sized properties, with millennials looking at entry-level pricing while boomers are looking to downsize into smaller quarters.
“The overlap proved detrimental to the younger [buyers] because they were less able to make the most competitive offer,” says Wolf. “Competition for smaller, more reasonably priced homes is unlikely to ever significantly abate, but with more older Americans deciding to stay put, some millennials may find the market easier to navigate.”
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