Baby Boomers: Gridlock In the Housing Market

Written by Posted On Monday, 05 August 2019 11:16

Baby Boomers, as defined by the 75 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, are said to be “clogging up” the housing market. How? While, generally speaking, Americans are known to follow a rite of passage in life – get married, have kids, buy a house, move to a bigger house, and retire into a smaller home – Baby Boomers are bucking this trend.

ValueInsured Modern Home-buyer Survey, conducted by Equation research

Proud to Be a Baby Boomer:

Baby Boomers are for the most part deciding to stay in the large homes where they raised their kids. While at first glance, this might seem like a sentimental decision, economic factors play a role as well. Boomers are healthier and working longer than previous generations, which means they aren’t yet ready to sell their homes. In fact, according to the Department of Labor, about 20% of Americans 65 and older are working or looking for jobs, up from 12.1% in 1996. Additionally, with the rising costs of smaller homes, many “Boomers” think it is unwise to sell a large home, especially if the large home is paid off or has substantial equity, for an expensive, smaller house.

On the other hand, Boomers who are interested in downsizing are running into another issue: millennials do not seem interested in buying their homes. As explained by Alejandro Trujillo, a 33-year-old Chicago real estate agent, even though Boomers tend to think that if a house has been good enough for them, it should be good enough for the next generation, that has not proven to be the case. In fact, the National Association of Senior Mover Managers indicates that some adaptations made by the Boomers may have to be undone when it is time to sell since there is a generational gap with what younger buyers want. Since the early 2000s, buyers increasingly have favored smaller houses with modern designs to large, elaborately detailed houses, and many prefer to live a walkable distance from retail stores rather than in remote locations. Further, as Boomers adapt their houses to accommodate them as they age, some lose sight of how the changes affect the market appeal of the property. This, in turn, means many Boomers end up selling their spacious homes for less than they paid to build them – again making Boomers think twice about even moving in the first place.

impact on new buyers

Impact on New Buyers:

The housing market is cyclical. Yet, with the ”near-gridlock” in the housing market, caused by Boomers staying in place, about 1.6 million homes have been kept out of buyers’ reach in recent years, sharply reducing the availability of housing nationwide.

It Is All In the Spokes

The Boomers are a “stick in the spokes of homeownership” which relies on older people exiting to free up houses that can be resold to first time buyers, keeping the market moving. While that may be the case, there are other reasons for the sluggish housing movement, including the tightening of foreign investment and the student loan crisis. Bottom line: Boomers and market factors, regardless of age, all play a role in the evolving real estate market.

From The Trenches,

Roy Oppenheim


Oppenheim Law | Real Estate Attorneys
2500 Weston Rd, Suite 404
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331

Orignally posted on South Florida Law Blog: Baby Boomers: Gridlock In the Housing Market 

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Roy Oppenheim

From Wall Street to Main Street, Roy Oppenheim is a successful serial entrepreneur and attorney focusing on Florida real estate, foreclosure defense, loss mitigation and Internet ventures.

He founded Oppenheim Law in 1989 with his wife Ellen Pilelsky and uniquely positioned the Firm as one of Florida’s leading boutique law firms in Weston, Florida.

Serving national, international, and local clients, Mr. Oppenheim has the highest rating (A-V) conferred by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, the most respected directory of lawyers and law firms in the U.S.

In 1989, Mr. Oppenheim also co-founded and served as general counsel to ShopSmart Corp., the company that originated and owned the GNC Gold Card Program, a program that continues to this day and was one of the first cross-promotional programs of its kind.

In addition, in 1994, he co-founded Weston Title & Escrow, the oldest title company in Weston, Florida, and he currently serves as its Vice President. In 1999, Mr. Oppenheim served a one-year term on the board of directors for Catalina Lighting, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Growing up in the Bronx, Mr. Oppenheim learned to be focused on success and driven to always persevere for opportunity.

In 2009, he started the South Florida Law Blog, which was voted the best business and technology blog by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He also serves as an expert witness on title industry practices.

Mr. Oppenheim has also co-authored two law review articles, Deconstructing The Black Magic of Securitized Trusts, published in the Stetson University Law Review’s Spring 2012 Edition, and The Emperor’s New Clothes, published in the William & Mary Business Law Review Volume 6.

Today, Mr. Oppenheim is a sought-after legal expert on issues relating to the real estate crisis and beyond. In addition to his own blog, he also has been a contributor to Yahoo! Homes, and featured on HuffPost Live, FOX News, and Lifetime TV. In addition he has been quoted in prominent national publications, including USA Today, The New York Times and Huffington Post, among others. Mr. Oppenheim also understands the power of social media, and can be found on a variety of social media platforms.

Mr. Oppenheim also speaks fluent German.


  • Florida Bar, 1987; Member of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section
  • New York Bar, 1987; United States District for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, 1993


  • Princeton University, A.B., cum laude, 1982
  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1986
    • Member of the Northwestern University Law Review
    • Member of the National Moot Court Team

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