Baby Boomers Dominate These 15 Housing Markets

Couple in the kitchen
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Construction Coverage.

Homeownership has long been considered part of the American dream. But first-time homebuyers — especially millennials and Gen Xers — are facing an uphill battle when it comes to house hunting.

This is in part because of a growing trend in which baby boomers, the generation that owns the largest share of American homes, are planning to stay put. In fact, a 2018 survey conducted by AARP found that 76 percent of Americans over the age of 50 would prefer to remain in their current home — rather than move in with family, to a nursing home, or to an assisted living facility. That is leading to less inventory for new buyers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the share of homeowners over the age of 55 has been steadily increasing. In 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession, Americans over the age of 55 owned 44.3 percent of homes. By 2019, that percentage had increased to 53.8 percent. While the share of homeowners under the age of 35 remained fairly steady within the same time span, the share of homeowners between the ages of 35 and 54 decreased from 42.3 percent to 34.1 percent.

While baby boomers — defined here as Americans between the ages of 55 and 74 — comprise just over 22 percent of the U.S. population, they account for nearly 42 percent of homeowners nationwide.

To find which cities have the highest share of baby boomer homeowners, researchers at Construction Coverage, a review website for construction project management software and builders insurance, analyzed homeownership and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Researchers also referenced the Zillow Home Value Index to find each city’s median home price, compared with the national median of $256,663. They ranked the cities by the share of owner-occupied housing units owned by baby boomers.

Methodology

Baby boomer friends in a kitchen
Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

The homeownership and population data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 American Community Survey One-Year Estimates. Home prices are from the Zillow Home Value Index.

For the purpose of this analysis, baby boomers are defined as individuals between the ages of 55 and 74 in 2019. The percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers is the number of owner-occupied housing units headed by a baby boomer divided by the total number of owner-occupied housing units. The baby boomer population share is the total number of baby boomers divided by the total population.

With mortgage rates at historic lows and housing starts once again on the rise after a decline at the onset of COVID-19, housing may become more accessible for younger buyers. In addition, as baby boomers age and eventually downsize — often moving into communities built specifically for retirees — the share of housing units owned by each generation will shift in the coming years.

Here are the large cities with the most baby boomer-owned homes.

15. Los Angeles

Los Angeles smoky skyline
J Dennis / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 40.9%

Baby boomer population share: 18.3%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 208,864

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 193,372

Median home price: $764,528

14. Colorado Springs, Colorado

John Hoffman / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 41%

Baby boomer population share: 20.7%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 46,410

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 12,742

Median home price: $339,146

13. Detroit

Detroit, Michigan
Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 41%

Baby boomer population share: 20.5%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 52,390

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 38,456

Median home price: $38,721

12. Arlington, Texas

Arlington, Texas
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 41.1%

Baby boomer population share: 18.5%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 30,836

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 10,571

Median home price: $225,334

11. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Phil Anthony / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 41.9%

Baby boomer population share: 20.8%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 35,320

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 17,372

Median home price: $135,661

10. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, AZ
Sean-Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 41.9%

Baby boomer population share: 19.9%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 45,064

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 24,284

Median home price: $224,852

9. San Diego

The skyline of San Diego, where median rent is well below median mortgage payments
Dancestrokes / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 42%

Baby boomer population share: 18.8%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 100,112

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 49,943

Median home price: $695,184

8. Louisville, Kentucky

Churchill downs entrance, Louisville, Kentucky
Thomas Kelley / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 42.2%

Baby boomer population share: 23.1%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 63,569

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 25,160

Median home price: $186,692

7. Anaheim, California

Paradise Pier in Anaheim California
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 42.3%

Baby boomer population share: 18.6%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 20,537

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 11,203

Median home price: $655,039

6. New York City

Pizza kitchen in New York
ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 43.5%

Baby boomer population share: 20.6%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 445,328

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 585,556

Median home price: $654,683

5. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 43.6%

Baby boomer population share: 21.4%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 86,212

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 27,981

Median home price: $202,568

4. Long Beach, California

Person running along a beach at sunset.
Somkiat.H / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 44.2%

Baby boomer population share: 19.7%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 28,711

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 21,523

Median home price: $635,289

3. Cleveland

Allen G. / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 45.3%

Baby boomer population share: 22.1%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 31,148

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 28,542

Median home price: $74,946

2. New Orleans

Dustie / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 45.6%

Baby boomer population share: 22.9%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 34,324

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 21,404

Median home price: $234,036

1. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of homeowners who are baby boomers: 46.4%

Baby boomer population share: 20.7%

Number of baby boomer-owned households: 54,770

Number of baby boomer-rented households: 29,677

Median home price: $103,289

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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