Apr 10, 2024 - News

Why Metro Detroit boomers won't sell their big houses

Share of ownership of large homes by generation and market
Data: Redfin; Chart: Axios Visuals

Empty nesters are holding on to Metro Detroit's family-size homes, according to a recent Redfin report.

Why it matters: "OK Boomer" might sting more when it comes from millennials eyeing the keys to your three-bedroom house, Axios' Sami Sparber reports.

Driving the news: Baby boomer empty nesters own more than a quarter of Metro Detroit's homes with at least three bedrooms — 27.6%, per Redin. That's more than double the share owned by millennials with kids — 13.7%.

State of play: The problem for many younger families looking to buy is baby boomers don't have much motivation to sell, according to Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari.

  • Boomers typically have low housing costs, and most of them "are only in their 60s, still young enough that they can take care of themselves and their home without help," Bokhari said in the report.

The big picture: Homeowners nationally are holding on to their homes nearly twice as long as they did in 2005, Redfin research shows.

  • Many of those staying put are aging in place. Most baby boomers who own houses are mortgage-free or have a low interest rate, according to the brokerage.

Reality check: Some seniors are downsizing, sometimes to luxury apartments.

  • Of 1,020 boomers Opendoor surveyed nationwide who plan to sell their homes, 85% said they intend to do so in the next three years.

Between the lines: Housing affordability got worse last year. For many millennials, the only way to buy a house is with family help.

Meanwhile, many young families are renting single-family houses.

Go deeper: America's homebuyers are getting older

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