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Baby Boomers Seem to Be Staying in Place

May 16 2016

Baby Boomers coming of age in the 1960s rebelled against a lot of “norms” followed by previous generations. Now that many Boomers are closing in on retirement age, many housing experts are wondering if they will also handle old age differently.

One of the latest trends they’ve been credited with leading is downsizing to apartment living and driving apartment demand. But do the numbers actually bear that theory out?

Millennials on the Move

According to Patrick Simmons, director in the Economic & Strategic Research Group at Fannie Mae, the downsizing narrative is overblown. In a recent commentary, Simmons observes that while the Boomers are popularly considered a major force behind the run-up in apartment demand, in fact, their occupancy in apartments has increased only modestly in recent years.

Rather, he notes, the major demographic force behind rising demand for apartments is the Millennial generation. Between 2009 and 2014, Millennials’ consumption of apartments increased more than 10 times as much as that of Boomers.

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