Maybe Boomers Aren't So Keen on Second Homes

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By AMY HOAK,Wall Street Journal Online
Baby boomers may not be as in love with second homes as once thought.
The rate of second-home ownership among 50- to 60-year-olds has remained flat during the 12-year period between 1992 and 2004, according to a report sponsored by Radian Group Inc. and the Research Institute for Housing America of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Early boomers were no more likely to own


By AMY HOAK,
Wall Street Journal Online

Baby boomers may not be as in love with second homes as once thought.

The rate of second-home ownership among 50- to 60-year-olds has remained flat during the 12-year period between 1992 and 2004, according to a report sponsored by Radian Group Inc. and the Research Institute for Housing America of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Early boomers were no more likely to own a second home than older generations of homeowners. Those who do have a second home are using the residence on a limited basis, too: One-half spend two weeks or less and two-thirds spend four weeks or less per year in their second home, the report found.

About 12% of second-home owners said they intended to sell their main home and eventually use their second home as their primary address -- debunking speculation to the contrary.

The study, "Housing Trends Among Baby Boomers," was conducted by Gary V. Engelhardt and released during the MBA's annual convention Monday in Chicago.

Information for the report was pulled from a variety of sources, including U.S. Census Bureau information and the 2004 Health and Retirement Study, which is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

"There have been relatively few scientific studies on second-home ownership and mortgage activity," Doug Duncan, MBA's chief economist and senior vice president of research and business development, said in a news release. "The report indicates that baby boomers are not acting differently than their parents when it comes to second-home ownership. However, the baby boom cohort is so large, even if they follow typical buying patterns, they will have significant impacts on many local housing markets."

The study found 43 million U.S. households headed by someone age 50 or older owned their main residence and 6.6 million homeowners of that age group owned a second home. Those second homes were often located in well-known vacation areas.

Copyright © 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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