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Survey of Age 55+ Homeowners Signals Increasingly Competitive Housing Market

June 23, 2016

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We recently commissioned our first survey focusing on homeowners age 55 and over, interviewing nearly 4,900 55+ homeowners. The survey explores the attitudes that this group of Baby Boomers holds toward their current and future housing arrangements – including their overall feeling that owning a home makes financial sense.

The survey also takes a look at their plans for their next living situation (e.g., whether to stay put, buy again or rent, stay in-state or move to a different state, etc.), and garners insight into other aspects of homeownership, including their willingness to help their children become homeowners. The survey findings indicate the opportunities the mortgage industry can expect over the next five years as Boomers head into retirement or are already there.  

While the survey shows that many homeowners over the age of 55 prefer to age in their current home, it also reveals that nearly 40 percent prefer to move at least one more time, while 70 percent said they are likely to purchase their next home rather than rent.

So, how will the retiring Boomers impact the housing market and the housing plans of other generations, including Millennials? How will their attitudes toward homeownership affect the aspirations of other potential first-time homeowners?

Dave Lowman, Executive Vice President for Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac, notes that decisions that Baby Boomers and other older homeowners make now will create significant challenges, in addition to opportunities, for the mortgage and housing industries for years to come.

"Whether they buy new homes or decide to refinance and renovate their current ones," he says, "the size of [the Baby Boomer] generation and the fact that they hold close to two-thirds, approximately $8 trillion, of the nation's home equity makes it very important that we watch what they do."

Visit our Consumer Research page and read 55+ers Poised to Have Significant Impact on Housing Market, which highlights key results of this first-time Freddie Mac survey.

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The survey was conducted by GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications on behalf of Freddie Mac.

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