Posted on 21 January 2008
By Mark Miller
If you think the subprime mortgage meltdown is bad, consider the impact on housing as the boomer age wave hits. Dowell Myers, professor of urban planning and demography at the University of Southern California, is co-author of a new research study looking at how the huge boomer generation will affect housing as it begins selling homes to a shrinking pool of buyers. The net impact will be the end of what Myers calls the “generational housing bubble.”
“We’re turning the tide now, and there will be more sellers than buyers,” he says. The ratio of seniors to working-age adults will shift 67 percent over the next two decades; that shift in buyer-seller balance, coupled with a gap in affordability created by the housing run up of the last two decades, will lead to sharp downturns in housing values, he says. The changes will be seen most quickly he predicts, in the Northeast and Midwest, where people tend to sell more quickly as they age. The last states to see major change will be Florida, Arizona and Nevada–states where people remain net buyers until age 75, Myers says.
I’ll be writing more about this topic in the column shortly. If you have questions or specific concerns about future housing market values, leave a comment on this page.