Baby Boomers Dominate Homeownership, Especially in Pa.

By Hope Walborn | March 20, 2024 | 2 min. read

Older Americans continue to dominate homeownership with 53.6% of current homeowners being baby boomer age, according to an analysis by Construction Coverage using U.S. Census Bureau data.

The 55 and older cohort has dominated homeownership for years. At the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, Americans in this group owned 44.3% of homes. In 2021, that percentage had increased to 54.2%. In 2022, homeownership for those 55 and older finally decreased, albeit slightly, to 53.6%. Homeowners under 35 made up 12.2% and homeowners ages 35-54 made up 34.2%.

Pennsylvania had the 12th most baby boomer homeowners by state with 39.4% of homeowners being boomers (1,440,431 boomer-owned households). For further context, boomers made up 23.0% of the state’s overall population and the median Pennsylvania home price was $256,703.

Nationally, baby boomers dominated homeownership in many New England states in 2022, especially in New Hampshire (42.5%), Vermont (42.0%) and Maine (41.7%). Delaware led the country with the most boomer homeowners (42.7%), and warmer states to the south and the west also had more older homeowners. In comparison, Midwest homes were significantly less likely to be owned by boomers. At the time, boomers (then ages 58-76) made up just over 20% of the country’s population.

Several Pennsylvania metros also made the 2022 lists for most and fewest boomer homeowners.

In the large metro category, Pittsburgh had the second most boomer homeowners at 40.0%.

Among small metros, Johnstown had the 14th most boomer homeowners at 44.4%. On the other hand, Lebanon had the 11th fewest with 32.0%.

It’s a growing trend for older Americans to age in place, which can partly account for their continuing majority share in homeownership. According to AARP, 77% of Americans over the age of 50 would prefer to remain in their current home instead of moving in with family, to a nursing home or to an assisted living facility as they age. This may contribute to low inventory issues for new buyers as existing homes owned by boomers stay off the market.

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