Twenty-somethings are facing surprising new competition when it comes to finding nice condos in cool urban areas: their own dang parents. The baby boomers are coming for your city’s best apartments and—unlike you—they’re ready to pay premium.
“Roughly 10,000 baby boomers are retiring each day, and recent data shows that half of those who plan to move will downsize when they do,” reports Ylan Q. Mui of the Washington Post. “Many are seeking the type of urban living that typically has been associated with young college graduates—so much so that boomers are renting apartments and buying condos at more than twice the rate of their millennial children.”
While this is bad luck for millennials (either because they can no longer afford places to live or their parents are their new neighbors), it’s great news for real estate agents.
“Boomers will pay a premium if you can give them exactly what they want,” real estate agent Matt Robinson tells the Post. “Something closer to what was in their house, and that pushes up the price; they’re happy to pay for it.”
Meanwhile, people in their twenties are also paying for something closer to their former homes—in that many of their apartments are the size of their childhood bedrooms.
As Mui points out, most millennials are entering the real estate market at a disadvantage, having come of age during the recession when good work was scarce, student loan debt was high, and saving money was a more difficult task. Sadly, things are not likely to look up:
Analysts worry that the trend is making affordable housing more scarce at all ages — including for some boomers. Nationally, the cost of rent has made a double-digit jump since the recession and hit a record $803 a month, according to government data. At the same time, the [Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies] estimated that the number of families who pay more than half their income in rent is expected to rise 11 percent to 13.1 million over the next decade.
Leave it to baby boomers to make young, upper-to-middle class gentrifiers look good.
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