Boomers Sooner Than Nation's Housing Can Absorb

November 15, 2018
Chess game on table in home
Photo: Unsplash/Javier Grixo

Younger buyers are not the only dominant force in today's market. The latest report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) looks at the 65 million senior households.

Senior households make up more than half of all households in the United States, but the nation's housing stock isn't ready, according to the JCHS report's findings. “Between 2010 and 2040, the nation’s 65-plus population will grow by roughly 90 percent,” says Hamilton Lombard, a demographics researcher for the University of Virginia. “In some areas of the country, most of the population growth will come from retirees.”

The silver tsunami of Baby Boomers onto the nation's housing market is "just starting to crest," writes Patrick Sisson for Curbed, "while the growth in households in their 50s and 60s will actually slow down in coming years due to a speed bump in birth rates a few decades ago, the number of households in their 70s, 80s, and 90s will soar."

The number of U.S. households age 80 or over already jumped 71 percent between 1990 and 2016, from 4.4 to 7.5 million. By 2037, it’ll double. This shift, coupled with other dynamics at play among the housing market at large, including widening inequality and shrinking subsidies for affordable housing, makes the provision of safe, accessible, and affordable places for seniors a huge and immediate challenge.

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