In the Battle for Houses Boomers Are Mercilessly Outbidding Millennials

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Baby boomers and millennials are in a heated housing battle and according to a new Zillow report, boomers are winning. So many baby boomers are active in the housing market that it’s become increasingly difficult for millennials to compete.

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According to the report, Americans 60 years and older are more active in the housing market than they were a decade ago. Buyers in this age group grew 47% from 2009 to 2019. Over the same period, buyers ages 18 to 39 fell by 13%.

The Zillow report noted that even though there are more millennials actively searching for homes, buyers are still trending older. This is because boomers are taking advantage of an appreciating real estate market as U.S. home values have increased by 31.2% from 2009 to 2019. Homeowners are tapping into their equity, giving them the upper hand against first-time buyers who typically don’t have the cash reserves to make an all-cash offer.

Cash offers have been pivotal in the current housing market, noted Business Insider, which has been an essential strategy for winning a bidding war.

“Whether downsizing or moving to a new town, baby boomers being more active means competition that previous generations did not have when buying their first home,” Jeff Tucker, a senior economist at Zillow, said in a statement. “And older buyers have the advantage of a lifetime’s worth of savings and home equity to leverage in a competitive offer.”

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Millennial homebuyers have been struggling with the financial fallout from the Great Recession, student loan debt and rising living costs, added Insider. Even if millennials saved enough for a down payment, housing prices and limited inventory have created new challenges, leaving millennials to face a second housing crisis in a dozen years.

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Gay Cororaton, the director of housing and commercial research for the National Association of Realtors, told Insider earlier this year that homeownership is “going to be more difficult for millennials,” and baby boomers are only adding to the hardships.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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