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Engelhardt Weighs In on Baby Boomers Aging Out of the Housing Market in Business Insider Article

January 25, 2024

Business Insider

Gary V. Engelhardt

Gary V. Engelhardt

Baby boomers dominate America's housing market, owning nearly $19 trillion worth of U.S. real estate. But what happens when boomers leave their residences as they die or move into nursing homes? 

Some economists have predicted that a "silver tsunami" of aging Americans will leave millions of homes up for grabs, lowering prices and unlocking opportunities for younger generations used to fighting for table scraps. Others have likened the phenomenon to a glacial shift—slow, predictable, and unlikely to sway home prices as much as 20- and 30-somethings might hope.

Gary Engelhardt, professor of economics, expects the bulk of the boomer generation to age out of the market between 2030 and 2040. "In the next 15 years, this stuff's really going to start happening," Engelhardt says.

But Engelhardt and other economists say the long-awaited boomer sell-off would likely take longer and wreak far less havoc than the tsunami metaphor would suggest. In his 2022 paper, "Who will buy the baby boomers' homes when they leave them?," Engelhardt argues that mass aging will send ripples through the housing market but fail to push down prices significantly. Because aging is predictable and takes time, Engelhardt says, markets will adjust to any spike in available homes.

Read more in the Business Insider article, "Gen Z vs. the Silver Tsunami."

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