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Baby boomers aren’t budging

Many baby boomers are stuck in place, locked into their larger homes, unwilling or unable to downsize to smaller accommodations that might be more suitable.

“That dynamic contributes to the shortage of homes for sale,” writes Redfin data journalist Dana Anderson in the report, noting empty-nester boomers own twice as many large homes across the country as millennials with kids, “largely because older Americans, with no financial incentive to sell, are hanging onto their homes.”

The reality is that median prices of existing single-family homes have skyrocketed over 10-fold since the early 1970s, when the oldest boomers were buying their first homes, reports The Wall Street Journal.

And thanks to rising home values, many of them are in a much better place, financially, compared to young Americans today — who are trying to enter the housing market at a time of high mortgage rates and home prices.

“Many older Americans benefited from an abundance of newly built homes and favorable economic conditions during their prime money-making years,” write Anderson and Redfin author Sheharyar Bokhari in a separate report. “Many baby boomers were at the height of their careers during the 1990s economic boom, allowing them to build wealth and buy big homes.”

Today, the generation holds about half of the country’s wealth, with most of it tied up in real estate.

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Young Americans are turning to creative avenues for homeownership

While it’s incredibly difficult for young Americans to purchase property today — many are still trying.

Some Gen Zers are living with their parents and saving up for a down payment, while working one, if not multiple jobs, as Behar’s millennial co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin points out on The View.

Others are co-buying with friends, or snagging cheap fixer-uppers​​ and doing the renovations themselves.

And more young Americans are turning to “house hacking” amid a limited supply of starter homes — renting out a portion of their homes in order to make some supplemental income and pay off their mortgages.

There are other options for investing in real estate too, without becoming a landlord. You could invest in shares of rental properties and vacation homes and not have to worry about taking care of the real estate operations, like dealing with tenants and making repairs.

There are even platforms that will let you purchase shares of institutional-quality properties leased by national brands including Whole Foods and Walmart.


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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.


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