Baby boomers and the echo generation will shape U.S. housing markets for decades

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

Aging baby boomers will change the housing market in ways that have never been experienced before, according to a new report on demographic effects on U.S. housing markets from the Bipartisan Policy Center.    

The report projects the extent of new unprecedented demands for affordable, accessible housing from the 65+ population. It also describes the impact of seniors on the supply of housing, as they vacate their homes.  Although many of their homes will be purchased by younger people, the number of homes left by the baby boom may well exceed the demand from younger potential buyers, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest.  

Source: Demographic Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Housing Markets, p.45.

The report emphasizes the importance of Echo Boomers (children of baby boomers), many of whom are struggling as a result of the recent recession, for the long-term health of the U.S. housing market. 

The fluidity and uncertainty of housing market conditions, concludes the report, means that changes in the coming decade  to housing finance policy and tax incentives will likely play a great role in shaping the future wealth of millions of  American households.