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Don’t Count Gen X Out

Don’t Count Gen X Out

Millennials and baby boomers may grab most of the attention as the big movers in real
estate these days, but the generation in between has been the only generation of
households to regain the wealth it lost during the Great Recession. Generation X
homeowners (those born between 1965 and 1980) saw the largest declines in home
equity a decade ago during the recession—so they also had the most ground to make
up. But now they’ve recovered more since 2007 than any other generation, according to
a new report by the Pew Research Center.

Generation X homeowners saw their home equity plunge 43 percent from $66,000 in
2007 to $37,600 in 2010. But since 2010, Gen X households’ median net worth has
surged 115 percent. Since 2016, the net worth of the average Gen X household
surpassed what it was in 2007, $84,200 versus $63,400.

“As of 2016, the median wealth of households headed by boomers and the silent
generation remains below 2007 levels, though their household wealth still exceeds that
of Generation X,” writes Richard Fry, a senior researcher at Pew. “Wealth or net
worth—the difference between the value of a household’s assets and debts—is an
important dimension of household well-being because it is a measure of a family’s nest
egg, resources that can sustain members through job layoffs or emergencies as well as
provide income during retirement. For many American households, the bulk of their
wealth is in their home, and this was especially the case for households headed by Gen
Xers in 2007.”

For the most part, Gen Xers, now largely in their late 30s and 40s, are nearing their
peak income and spending power. Since they are older than millennials, they tend to be
higher on the pay scale in their jobs. Therefore, they may have more to spend on their
homes than millennials or downsizing, retiring baby boomers.

“Only One Generation of Americans Has Fully Recovered From the Housing Crash,”
MarketWatch (July 24, 2018)




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