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Boomer Renters Daunted by Costs of Homeownership

A survey indicates that a diminishing share expect to become buyers

For rent sign in front of house

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Boomers are finding that renting is more affordable than buying, according to a poll.

Boomer renters increasingly see renting a home as more affordable and realistic than buying one, a Harris poll commissioned by Freddie Mac indicates. The results point to a likely decline in home ownership as housing prices rise, despite growing confidence in the economy.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the boomer renters surveyed said that renting was more affordable than owning, the poll in February found. And exactly half of the boomer renters surveyed said they don’t expect to buy a home, up 8 percentage points from a survey six months earlier.

“New research by Freddie Mac reveals that despite growing economic confidence among renters, affordability remains dominant in driving renter behavior,” the housing lender reported this month in its spring Profile of Today's Renter report.

“Even among renters who have experienced a rent increase in the past two years, a growing number – 64 percent – stated they do not plan to move, up from 49 percent in August 2017,” Freddie Mac reported. “This includes a noteworthy 70 percent of baby boomers.”

Millennials (born 1981-1997) and Gen-Xers (1965-1980) are even more daunted by home prices than boomers (1946-1964), the survey indicated.

“Additionally, renters living in the West perceive homeownership as more difficult to attain than other regions, with 51 percent believing homeownership is less accessible than three years ago,” the report says.     

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