In a new blog post, Jennifer Molinsky, Senior Research Associate at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, highlighted portions of the 2020 State of the Nation’s Housing report that discuss the changing nature of older adult households and the challenges they face. Highlights:
- Households age 65 and over are increasing faster than any other age group, both in number and as a share of all households. The number of households aged 65 and over increased by nearly a million each year between 2014 and 2019, lifting the share of older households from 24 percent to 26 percent;
- Older households are shaping both ownership and rental markets. In 2019, the national homeownership rate edged up slightly to 64.6 percent according the Housing Vacancy Survey, bolstered in part by the high homeownership rate (78.6 percent) among older households. With growth in the older population, the number of older homeowners increased by more than 2.5 million from 2016 to 2019; and
- Even before the pandemic, a record number of older households were cost burdened. In 2019, the number of older adult households paying more than a third of their income for housing reached an all-time high of 10.2 million. Fully half this group was severely burdened, spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing. Cost burdens are higher at older ages, for renters, and for owners with mortgages. Read more.