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Majority of older homeowners plan to stay in their home as they age: Redfin

Older Americans who own their home are financially incentivized to stay put, which is likely to worsen the ongoing inventory shortage, two Redfin studies found. 

In one recent survey, Redfin found that over three-quarters (78%) of older American homeowners (ages 60 and up) are planning to stay in their current home as they age. Meanwhile, about one in five baby boomers (19%) are considering moving into a community with older people or have already done so. Smaller shares of baby boomers are considering moving in with an adult child, moving to an assisted-living facility or moving in with friends.

The inertia of baby boomers is making it harder for young Americans to find a family home, according to a Redfin analysis. In fact, empty-nest baby boomers own 28% of three-bedroom homes in the U.S., while millennials with kids own just 14%. Furthermore, nearly 80% of boomers own the home they live in, compared to 55% of millennials. 

Additionally, 54% of boomers carry no mortgage, and for those who do have a mortgage, nearly all of them have a much lower interest rate than they would if they sold and bought a new home today. 

According to the April 2024 Mortgage Monitor report from Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), homeowners who took out mortgages with near-record-low rates in 2020 and 2021 face much higher monthly payments even if they move to an equivalently priced home. A “lateral move” of this type would cost 60% more per month, ICE reported.

There are now 517,000 single family homes on the market, up by 26% from a year ago, according to data from Altos Research. Inventory has been expanding steadily for 20 weeks in a row but still remains at historically low levels. Mike Simonsen, founder and president of Altos Research, forecasts that there will be 700,000 homes on the market by August or September of this year, the most homes available since 2019. 

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