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The Ownership Generation is Aging

Seniors are still the age group with the greatest homeownership rate, far exceeding the national rate for all age groups even into their eighties.

According to a new report from Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Americans age 50 and over are predominantly homeowners, and are less likely to rent until they hit their seventies.

At age 50, almost 73 percent of households report living in houses they own, a rate that increases to 81.2 percent by the age of 65 and then declines slightly to 77.7 percent by age 75, at which point ownership rates decline steadily.

At age 85, almost 70 percent of households live in their own houses, but that drops to about 59 percent and 54 percent at ages 90 and 95, respectively, according to the analysis, based on data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. The report was based on data from the period 1998–2010.

Rental trends show the exact opposite pattern. Renting reaches a relatively high mark at age 50 (almost 23 percent), but drops to 15.5 percent by the age of 65. After age 75, renting steadily increases. Also, the percentage of elderly living with friends or family increases from 8.7 percent at age 80, to 17.9 percent at age 95.

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