The Spokane real estate market is in a unique situation. While the rest of country shows signs of normal slowdown, Spokane continues to be challenged by low housing inventory. An Amazon distribution facility is being built as of this writing. This is expected to open up in Fall 2019, making 1500 job opportunities available. In addition, Fairchild Air Force Base is expected to add another 1000 servicemen and women, as it expands its operations.
On the other hand, the country’s largest homebuilder is expected to complete approximately 200 houses within the next 12-18 months. D.R. Horton recently expanded their presence in Spokane with a very aggressive plan to break ground in several communities around Spokane: Indian Trails, Colbert, South Hill and Spokane Valley.
So is it fair for baby boomers to be blamed for a portion of the housing market’s current lack of housing inventory?
Here’s what some of the experts have to say on the subject:
Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow, says that “Boomers are healthier and working longer than previous generations, which means they aren’t yet ready to sell their homes.”
According to a study by Realtor.com, 85% of baby boomers indicated they were not planning to sell their homes.
It is true that baby boomers are healthier and are thus working and living longer, but are they also refusing to sell their homes?
Last month, Trulia looked at the housing situation of seniors (aged 65+) today compared to that of a decade ago. Trulia’s study revealed that:
“Although seniors appear to be delaying downsizing until later in life, as a group, households 65 and over are still downsizing at roughly the same rate as in years past.”
Trulia also explains that,
“5.5% of households 65 and over moved, pretty evenly split between moves to single family (2.7%) and multifamily (2.4%) homes. In 2005, these percentages were virtually the same, with 5.5% of senior households moving, including 2.5% into single family and 2.5% into multifamily homes.”
So, if these percentages are the same, what is the challenge?
Recent reports tell us that the older population grew from 3 million in 1900 to 47.8 million in 2017.
In addition, the Census recently revised the numbers from their National Population Projections:
“The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history … By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18.”
There are many factors affecting the Spokane real estate market. The baby boomer generation is a significant portion, but by itself, will not necessarily swing the market one way or another.
If you are a baby boomer who is not sure whether you should downsize or move to a warmer climate (other people are doing it, why not you?), let’s get together so we can help you evaluate your options today!
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly,
Dennis Isip | Spokane Realtor
Haven Real Estate Group