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Generational Home Buying Behavior - 7/2/15

The millennial generation, which includes Americans in their late-teens, twenties and early thirties, if often blamed for the profound decline in home buying.  America’s homeownership rate has been in declining since two thousand and five, but that’s not just because of millennials.

Data indicate that homeownership within Generation X, which includes Americans between the ages of thirty five to fifty four, has declined the most of any age group since nineteen ninety three – this according to Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing Report.  This may be an instance of once burned, twice shy.  The housing market peaked roughly a decade ago just as many members of Generation X were purchasing their first home.

The housing crisis struck this group hard, particularly since many of them had used the bulk of their savings to supply a down payment.  This helps explain why the number of homeowners aged thirty five to forty four has declined twenty three percent from ten years ago.  Rather than buying, many Generation Xers, who are approaching their peak earning years, are staying in the rental market longer. 

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.