The Near Future Of Mobility

millennials, new trends, urbanization

Aging Boomers, At Home

80scarWhen the Baby Boomers were the same age as the average Millennial (mid- twenties to thirties) their desire to be homeowners propelled  the housing market. The lack of housing inventory,  a recession in the 1980’s, and  double-digit interest rates did not deter the Boomers from house buying. They bought homes in spite of these circumstances.

Today, it’s quite different. Although the U.S. population has  about the same numbers of Boomers (75.2 million) as Millenials (74.7 million) the Millennial stance on housing is remarkably different. First time buyers dropped to a low not seen since 1987…a point at which many Boomers had already opted into the housing market. (data: National Association of Realtors).

Furthermore, U.S. homeownership rate has fallen to 64.4 percent, the lowest in almost two decades. However, the rate among people age 65 or older is aroundt 80 percent.

There are a couple of things that could explain the differences between Boomers and Millenials.

(1) The obvious is the level of indebtness among Millenials, as they struggle to find jobs and pay off tuition loans. Boomers  were relatively debt-free as young people (but not as older ones).

(2) Less obvious are demographic changes. Millenials are staying single longer if they marry at all, and plan to have smaller families. Boomers were far more likely to marry and start a family, although about 50% of these marriages later failed. (Chapter One and Two, Aging in Suburbia).

(3) Even less obvious are the social changes. Home is no longer where you spend your weekends (think D.I.Y) and backyard barbecues. Homes need to “do less” and be less entertaining when our phones and Internet are new gateways.  (If this seems hard to grasp, read Chapter Seven, a stand-alone chapter) in Aging in Suburbia .