December 1, 2023

U.S. dwelling costs throughout the nation are surging even with the astronomical rise in mortgage charges, placing possession out of attain for hundreds of thousands of People. 

The spike in rates of interest – which topped 7% final 12 months for the primary time in 20 years – has created a “golden handcuff” impact within the housing market: Sellers who locked in a record-low mortgage charge of three% or much less throughout the pandemic started have been reluctant to promote and tackle a costlier possibility, leaving few choices for keen would-be patrons.

The variety of obtainable houses available on the market on the finish of August was down by greater than 9% from the identical time final 12 months and down a surprising 45% from the standard quantity earlier than the pandemic started in early 2020, in line with a current report from


Properties in Hercules, California, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs / Getty Photographs)

However there’s one other issue driving dwelling costs increased, in line with Barclays economists; child boomers. In a current analyst word, titled “Blame the Boomers,” the strategists argued the growing older of America is spurring extra family formation.

“The US housing sector is on the upswing once more, even with mortgage charges at multi-decade highs,” the strategists, led by Jonathan Millar, wrote. “Though a lot has been attributed to shortages of current properties and mortgage lock-in results, we expect sturdy demand is a symptom of the growing older inhabitants.” 

It might appear “paradoxical,” as a result of an growing older inhabitants tends to require fewer houses. However that is not the case with the child boomers, who’re presently between the ages of 57 and 75. Boomers are reaching retirement age and forming new households, both as a result of divorce or demise, however they don’t seem to be liberating up current provide.

The formation of households drives demand for each homeownership and leases. Formation refers back to the change within the variety of households – of individuals dwelling below one roof – from one 12 months to the subsequent. It usually occurs when younger individuals transfer out of their dad and mom’ houses, or when a pair divorces.  


US housing

Properties in Rocklin, California, on Dec. 6, 2022. ( Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photographs / Getty Photographs)

“Whereas it’s probably true that older individuals are likely to desire smaller housing items, it isn’t true that an older inhabitants requires fewer housing items,” Millar mentioned. 

Though there have been “notable” will increase in demand from the youthful inhabitants, almost all extra demand is defined by the growing older inhabitants and vital will increase in households, in line with the evaluation. 

Barclays anticipates the imbalance between extreme demand amongst boomers and restricted provide to final for a number of years. 


“Information recommend that demographics are more likely to help demand for the foreseeable future, in line with annual family formation of round 1.3mn items via the top of the last decade,” the Barclays analysts mentioned. “In the meantime, the amassed scarcity of latest housing items stays appreciable, placing upward strain on home costs and rents, thereby encouraging extra building.”