The Housing Dilemma of Generation X

August 17, 2015

While real estate media is abuzz with stories about Boomers and Millennials, one member of Gen X writes about the plight of his generation, the smallest, sandwiched between two housing-optimistic ones.

“Homeownership is at an all-time low, and we Gen Xers are feeling that stat the hardest. We’re the ones who most need to own a piece of real estate. And we’re the ones least likely to get it,” writes Neal Pollack for

He uses data from a Harvard study to help illustrate the picture: Homeownership rates among 45- to 54-year-olds are 5 percentage points below where they were two decades ago. Members of this age cohort lost 45 percent of their wealth between 2007 and 2010, and 37 percent of all unemployed people are Gen X.

“Why, you may ask, should you feel sorrier for Gen X than Millennials, whose real estate future isn’t quite glowing either?” he adds. “Because we’re middle-aged! We’re not game for heading to the Rust Belt to pursue artisanal hobbies in abandoned warehouses, and living paycheck to paycheck in an illegally converted industrial loft with six roommates.”

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