Changing Age Demographics Affect the Housing Market

The high number of homes for sale right now could be due to the increased number of households with members who are 55 and older, said a University of Virginia professor in a report by The Virginian-Pilot.

October 11, 2010

The high number of homes for sale right now could be due to the increased number of households with members who are 55 and older, said a University of Virginia professor in a report by The Virginian-Pilot.

In the last 10 years, the numbers of households with members who are 55 or older has increased by 8 million, while the number of households with members between the ages of 30 and 45 has decreased by 3.6 million. According to Professor William Lucy, this could be the reason for the abundance of homes for sale right now, rather than overbuilding or foreclosures.

Since the 30-to-45 age group is crucial to homebuilders and sellers, said Lucy, the decrease in demand for homes affects the number of homes on the market. According to Van Rose, president of the new homes division for Rose & Womble Realty Co., many people in that age group have taken themselves out of the market due to the bad economy. Homeowners in that demographic also are often looking to upgrade to a larger home, but are holding off buying new homes because they know they will have difficulty selling their current homes, he said. In addition, many homeowners in the 55-and-older demographic do not need to sell their homes, meaning they may stay on the market longer.

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