Older Americans Do Best in Hanging on to Home Equity

Older Americans experienced markedly smaller losses in home equity than younger ones, reports a Pew Research Center survey released today. Compared with their counterparts in 1984, older homeowners in 2009 had a substantial increase in the median value of their home equity, versus the younger ones who experienced a loss, Pew says.

While the average American household lost 22% of its home equity from 2005 to 2009, the drop was sharpest for homeowners younger than 35, according to “The Rising Age Gap in Economic Well-Being” report. For the younger demographic, homeowners saw an average loss of 51%, from $50,258 in 2005 to $24,396 in 2009. In contrast, those homeowners aged 65 and older were “relatively untouched,” Pew says, seeing only 7% declines on average from $156,359 to $145,361 in the same time period.

Looking at the long term impact on home equity, the oldest homeowner households have seen the largest rises in home equity versus same-age counterparts in earlier decades, Pew says. The demographic to fare best was the 65+ population, with those in the 55-64 age group also seeing home equity appreciate over the last 25 years.


View the entire report.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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