In Largest 5-year cohorts, and Ten most Common Ages in 2017 Calculated Risk noted "The younger baby boom generation dominated in 2010. By 2017 the millennials have taken over. And by 2020, the boomers are off the list."
He concluded "My view is this is positive for both housing and the economy, especially in the 2020s."
To judge that assessment, I took Calculated Risk's table and color coded it.
- Red: Not Buying
- Yellow: Likely Cannot Afford to Buy
- Green: Potential First Time Buyers
2030 is too far away to make an assessment. Too many things can happen. Instead, let's discuss the next five years or so, using the middle column as our guide.
- There is a favorable shift from cohorts 4-5 to chorts 2-3.
- The first "not buying" cohort jumps from cohort 7 to cohort 4.
- There were three "not buying" groups in 2017 but there are four in 2020.
- There was a favorable shift from "cannot afford" from 2017 to 2020.
On the surface, the demographic trends may appear neutral or slightly favorable. However, I was pretty lenient with the green, potential first-time buyers.
Given housing price trends, most 25-29 cannot afford a house now and unless there is a price crash, those conditions will not change in the next five years.
Also, attitudes towards family formation and mobility have changed.
Finally, as boomers die off, millennials will inherit their parents homes. This will put a supply of homes up for sale, at a clear impact to prices.
For now, and the next five years, attitudes and affordability are the key issues. They far outweigh any potential demographic benefit, if any.
Home Buyer's Dilemma
The only way that changes in the next five years is is housing crashes. And if that happens, what happens to jobs and wages?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock