Boomers bullish on home ownership

More than 40 percent of homeowners in Washington are older adults, reflecting a national trend in which baby boomers–the generation that owns the largest share of homes–are planning to stay put.

A survey in 2018 by AARP found that 76 percent of Americans over the age of 50 prefer to remain in their current home rather than move in with relatives or to some type of assisted living facility. That’s contributing to fewer homes on the market for new, younger buyers, according to a new report by Construction Coverage, a construction industry research organization (

The U.S. Census Bureau reports the share of homeowners over the age of 55 has been steadily increasing. In 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession, they owned 44 percent of homes. By 2019, that percentage had increased to 53.8 percent. While the share of homeowners under the age of 35 remained fairly steady in the same time span, the share of homeowners between the ages of 35 and 54 decreased from 42 percent to 34 percent.

In Washington, 41.6 percent of homeowners are baby boomers. In all, 769,411 homes are owned by boomers. They rent another 218,300 homes. The share of Washington’s population comprised by boomers—between the ages of 55 and 74—is 22 percent.

Washington’s numbers for percentage of boomer ownership and boomer population are nearly the same nationally—41.9 and 22.6, respectively.

Median home prices are $443,350 in Washington and $256,663 nationally.