The Pulse

Aging In Place

More than three-quarters of baby boomers plan to stay in their home as they grow older

A new Redfin Survey reveals older Americans who own their home are staying put largely because they’re financially incentivized to do so. It’s contributing to the shortage of homes for sale. View the complete report findings and infographics here.

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NASDAQ: RDFN) — More than three-quarters (78%) of older American homeowners plan to stay in their current home as they age, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Redfin asked baby boomers in a recent survey what they anticipate their living situation to be as they grow older, and staying in their current home is by far the most common aging plan for older homeowners.

The next most common plan is moving to a 55+ community; one in five (20%) baby boomers are considering moving into a 55+ community or have already done so. Next comes moving in with adult children, with 10% of baby boomers citing that as a possible plan, and moving to an assisted-living facility (10%). Those are followed by moving in with friends (6%).

These responses are based on a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics in February 2024. The nationally representative survey was fielded to roughly 3,000 U.S. homeowners and renters. The results from baby boomers who rent their home are similar to the results for homeowners noted in Redfin’s report.

Aging In Place Is Already Contributing To The Housing Shortage, And Is Likely To Continue Doing So

The fact that the vast majority of baby boomer homeowners plan to age in place could prolong the shortage of homes for sale. Inventory is sitting at historically low levels (though new listings have started climbing in recent months) in large part because homeowners who scored ultra low mortgage rates during the pandemic are staying put to avoid taking on a new rate at today’s elevated levels. Many of those homeowners are baby boomers.

Baby boomers staying put is one reason young Americans are having a hard time finding a family home, according to a separate Redfin analysis. It found that empty-nest baby boomers own 28% of three-bedroom-plus U.S. homes, while millennials with kids own just 14%. Baby boomers have an outsized impact on the housing market because they’re most likely to own homes: Nearly 80% of boomers own the home they live in, compared to 55% of millennials.

Another Redfin analysis found that older Americans staying in their homes is already a driving force behind increasing homeowner tenure and the lack of homes for sale: More than half of baby boomers have lived in their home for over 10 years. Low inventory pushes home prices up, exacerbating the housing affordability problem in this country.

Older Americans Are Staying Put Because It Makes Financial Sense

Baby boomers are holding onto their homes largely because there’s not much financial incentive to let go of them. Most (54%) boomers who own homes have no mortgage, and for those who do have a mortgage, nearly all have a much lower interest rate than they would if they sold and bought a new home. Tax systems in some states, like California and Texas, also make it financially beneficial for people to stay in their homes as they age. And with medical and tech advancements, it’s increasingly possible for people to stay in their homes as they get older.

Older Americans are aging in place because it makes financial sense, but also because it’s human nature to avoid thinking about challenging scenarios such as needing help as you get older...

“Older Americans are aging in place because it makes financial sense, but also because it’s human nature to avoid thinking about challenging scenarios such as needing help as you get older,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “In reality, many homeowners and renters will need to move somewhere that better meets their needs as they age, like a senior-living community or a one-story home in an accessible neighborhood. But the government isn’t prioritizing building housing for seniors, which is further encouraging older Americans to stay put, exacerbating the inventory shortage. Politicians should focus on expanding housing stock that meets the needs of older Americans, which could help with housing affordability and availability for all.”

More than half (51%) of baby boomers who aren’t planning to sell their home anytime soon say it’s because they like their home and have no reason to move, according to the same Redfin survey. More than a quarter (27%) say it’s because their home is completely or almost paid off, and roughly one in five (21%) are staying put because home prices are now too high.

To view the full report, including charts and a detailed methodology, please visit here.

 

 

 

About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We run the country’s #1 real estate brokerage site. Our customers can save thousands in fees while working with a top agent. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can have our renovations crew fix it up to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we’ve saved customers more than $1.6 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 4,000 people.
Redfin’s subsidiaries and affiliated brands include: Bay Equity Home Loans®, Rent.™, Apartment Guide®, Title Forward® and WalkScore®.
For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin’s press release distribution list, email press@redfin.com. To view Redfin’s press center, click here.