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Gen X homeownership likely to stay low


NEW YORK – April 15, 2016 – Generation X suffered the most compared to any other age segment during the housing crisis, and they're still in the process of recovering. In fact, homeownership rates will likely stay low for Generation X – those born between 1965 and 1984 – for years to come, according to a study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Generation X was one of the most successful generations in terms of homeownership rates back in 2004, but they dropped to the least successful by 2015.

In 2004, Gen Xers – aged 25 to 34 at the time – had a homeownership rate of 49.5 percent, the highest compared to any other group at that age, according to U.S. Census data. But last year, the homeownership rate for the now 35-to-44-year old age group fell to a more than three-decade low of 58.5 percent.

Baby boomers, who entered the housing market prior to the housing crisis in the early 2000s, have fared better in the aftermath than Gen Xers.

Generation X "came into the market at precisely the wrong time," says Rick Sharga, executive vice president at, an online real-estate brokerage. "We've effectively wiped out a group of homeowners who historically would have been on their second or third properties by now."

As a result, housing analysts largely center their talks on the millennials born between 1985 and 2004. Generation X tends to be ignored.

Generation X has around 83 million people; millennials have about 87 million. By 2025, millennials are expected to grow to 93 million due to immigration, but the population of Generation X is expected to stay the same. As a result, housing analysts are betting that the millennials will have the largest impact on the housing market.

However, the housing market may need Gen Xers. As Generation X continues to recover from the housing crisis, fewer middle-aged buyers are trading up with their homes; and that is contributing to the severely limited inventory of homes available for sale.

Source: "Housing Bust Lingers for Generation X," The Wall Street Journal (April 9, 2016) [Log-in required]

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