Boomers Moving: More of a Gentle Tide Than a Tsunami

Boomers Moving: More of a Gentle Tide Than a Tsunami


The term "Silver Tsunami" might conjure images of a massive, sudden shift in the housing market due to Baby Boomers. This concept suggests that as Boomers downsize or relocate, they could flood the market with homes, significantly impacting housing prices and availability. However, this dramatic scenario is more myth than reality.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why most Baby Boomers prefer to age in place
  • How those who choose to move will spread out their relocation over time
  • The overall impact on the housing market will be gradual, not immediate

Understanding these dynamics will help alleviate any concerns about sudden market fluctuations and provide a clearer picture of what to expect in the coming years.

Aging in Place: A Preferred Choice for Many Boomers

A significant number of Baby Boomers are choosing to stay put in their homes rather than move. According to a study by AARP, more than half of adults aged 65 and older express a desire to age in place. This trend suggests a stability in housing demand, as fewer homes are placed on the market by this demographic than initially anticipated. Those who do opt to stay are also likely to invest in home modifications, adapting their living spaces to meet changing physical needs without relocating.

The Gradual Movement of Those Who Choose to Relocate

Contrary to the "tsunami" imagery, the movement among Boomers who decide to sell their homes and move will not occur en masse. Freddie Mac projects a gradual relocation, forecasting that approximately 9.2 million Boomers will move by 2035. This spread over more than a decade indicates a gentle tide rather than a sudden wave, allowing the housing market to adjust incrementally without dramatic shifts in supply and demand.

Limited Impact on the Housing Market

The fears of a disruptive impact on the housing market from Boomer movements are largely overstated. With many choosing to age in place and others spreading out their relocation over years, the anticipated influx of homes for sale will likely be more manageable. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, points out that demographic shifts occur gradually. Since the Baby Boomer generation spans almost two decades, their housing decisions will similarly unfold over a considerable period.


The idea of a "Silver Tsunami" dramatically affecting the housing market is more fiction than fact. Baby Boomers are more likely to age in place, and those who do move will do so gradually over the next several years.

  • Most Boomers prefer aging in place, reducing sudden market influx.
  • Those moving will do so gradually, not simultaneously.
  • The impact on the housing market will be slow and manageable.

For those interested in further exploring demographic trends and their effects on real estate, consider delving into how Millennial purchasing patterns are shaping new housing demands. This shift represents another critical evolution in the housing market that stakeholders should monitor closely.

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