February 18, 2008

Will Boomers Tank the Real Estate Market?

A new study by two USC researchers, Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning and demography in USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development, and Sungho Ryu, a doctoral candidate at the school and an associate planner with the Southern California Assn. of Governments has interesting implications for the future housing market.

Their thesis essentially is that as the nation ages the owners of property sell to use their equity. Historically, there is evidence that seniors sell between 55 and 75. The first boomers will be reaching this apex at or around 2011. Correctly, the thinking is that this added supply for a decade or more will seriously increase market supply and most especially in the retirement states such as Florida and Arizona. This should happen just as many economists are predicting the markets will have recovered.

According to the researchers, via the LA Times article: ".. the rates of buying and selling remain closely related because those who sell one house typically buy another. When people enter their late 50s and early 60s, as the leading wave of baby boomers has now done, buying and selling are in balance. When they reach their mid-60s, though, sellers start to outnumber buyers. And when they hit their 70s, sellers dominate."

Who Wins:

Very interesting stuff and certainly logical. If this plays out as they expect then I would think that the winners would be

1. The American Dream: People now out priced by homes

a. Young people

b. People starting over

c. The newly arrived with less asset

2. Builders and retirement communities in less expensive parts of the world such as Panama might see rising equity

3. Property Managers in America

Thanks for Reading

Howard Bell


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