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Rising Home Prices, Rates Pinch Boomer Buyers

Some settle for smaller and cheaper homes in less preferred neighborhoods

house with a Home For Sale sign out front

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Higher home prices and rising interest rates are increasingly squeezing older homebuyers.

Rising home prices and mortgage interest rates are limiting the choices for many buyers, even boomers who typically have relatively high incomes and cash from a previous home sale to put toward their down payment.

According to a newly released survey of more than 1,000 home buyers conducted by Toluna Research for Realtor.com, 32 percent of people 55 and older are buying a smaller home because of rising prices, and 25 percent have had to look for a less expensive home. Nearly 23 percent have had to look in a neighborhood apart from their preferred place to live. Seventeen percent said they've had to put down a larger down payment than planned, and 10 percent had to increase the amount they had budgeted for mortgage payments.

Twenty-four percent of boomers said they were looking for less expensive property as a result of rising interest rates, 23 percent were considering smaller homes, and 18 percent were looking at different neighborhoods.

"While boomers are less affected than younger generations, rate and price increases are still crimping some of their home searches,” Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale said in an email.

Fewer than half (47 percent) of those 55 and older said rising interest rates wouldn’t affect their search, and just 38 percent said they weren't affected by price increases.

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