The American housing landscape is undergoing a significant transformation, with one striking trend standing out – empty-nest baby boomers are holding onto family-size homes at rates that impact millennial homebuyers. In this context, the term “empty nesters” refers to individuals, typically baby boomers, who no longer have children living with them at home, signaling a potential downsizing or reevaluation of their housing needs.
Drawing insights from a Redfin analysis of the U.S. Census data from 2022, here is an overview of 25 cities, each accompanied by the percentage share of large homes (three bedrooms plus) owned by empty nesters.
This list goes from the top 25 states with the highest percentage share, starting from the state with the 25th highest percentage and ascending to the state with the largest percentage of them all.
1. Austin, TX
In the vibrant city of Austin, 22.2% of family-size homes are in the hands of empty nesters. The local real estate landscape may present challenges for millennials looking for a spacious home suitable for growing families.
2. Houston, TX
Houston, the largest city in Texas, sees 23.2% of family-sized homes occupied by empty nesters. As the city continues to experience rapid growth, establishing an equilibrium between accommodating established residents and catering to new ones is needed.
3. Los Angeles, CA
In the City of Angels, 23.7% of larger homes are owned by empty nesters, making it a challenge for millennials seeking adequately sized homes for their families. The glamor of Los Angeles must keep up with the demands of millennials.
4. Dallas, TX
In Dallas, 23.9% of family-sized homes are occupied by the elderly without children. As the city continues to expand, the intergenerational impact on housing availability becomes increasingly relevant.
5. Washington, DC
In the political heart of the nation, Washington, DC, 23.9% of family-sized homes are currently taken by empty nesters. The decisions of empty nesters impact the city’s housing. Some choose to keep their homes close to the history and politics of the country, while others may be thinking about moving into a smaller place. The choices of these residents play a pivotal role in shaping how people live in the nation’s capital.
6. Boston, MA
A quarter of the large homes are held by baby boomers, with a percentage of 25. Perhaps the historic cityscape might be a reason for it.
7. Miami, FL
Miami, synonymous with sunshine and beaches, has a 25% occupancy rate of family-sized homes by empty nesters. Beyond the palm-lined streets, it faces the challenge of creating a harmony between the energetic lifestyle and the shadows of housing disparities.
8. Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas, renowned as the Entertainment Capital of the World, faces a scenario where 25.3% of family-sized homes are in the hands of empty nesters. The city’s dynamic lifestyle must align with the need for housing for all generations.
9. Atlanta, GA
This is where empty nesters own a substantial 25.5 % of large homes. This trend raises questions about housing accessibility for younger generations seeking to start families.
10. Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis, known for its racing heritage, faces a challenge, with 25.8% of larger homes owned by empty nesters. The city’s efforts to attract and retain a diverse population must also be focused on providing housing accessibility for millennials.
11. Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, known as the Queen City, faces a dilemma with 26.5% of larger homes owned by empty nesters, reflecting a trend that could impact the city’s real estate dynamics for years to come.
12. Nashville, TN
Nashville, also known as Music City, faces the reality of 26.7% of large homes being occupied by empty nesters. The city’s unique culture and musical history make it harder for empty nesters to leave their big homes.
13. Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, located in the heart of America, has 26.9% of large homes taken by empty nesters. As the city evolves, addressing the needs of millennials seeking family-sized homes becomes integral to fostering a balanced and inclusive community.
14. Minneapolis, MN
As part of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis faces the occupancy of 26.9% of family-sized homes by empty nesters. The challenge lies in balancing the housing needs of various age groups, fostering inclusivity, and preserving the unique character of the Twin Cities.
15. Columbus, OH
Columbus maintains a trend seen in other cities, with 27% of larger homes owned by empty nesters. The city’s growth may require a closer look at housing distribution for various age groups.
16. Hartford, CT
Hartford, found in New England, faces a scenario where 27.4% of larger homes are taken by baby boomers. The city’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage must now contend with the pressing need to ensure millennials have access to family-sized homes.
17. Baltimore, MD
Baltimore sees an even higher percentage, with 27.5% of large homes occupied by empty nesters. The city’s historical charm may be contributing to the desire of baby boomers to maintain residence in these spacious properties.
18. Detroit, MI
Detroit, often referred to as the Motor City, faces a significant 27.6% of family-sized homes owned by empty nesters. As the city undergoes a revitalization, addressing the housing landscape’s impact on the younger generation becomes pivotal.
19. Louisville, KY
Louisville, known for the Kentucky Derby, faces a significant challenge, with 28.9% of family-sized homes occupied by empty nesters. Some even informally call it “America’s Aging Capital.”
20. Milwaukee, WI
Often referred to as Brew City, Milwaukee faces 29.1% of larger homes occupied by empty nesters amid urban revitalization. They’re holding onto their larger homes as the city transforms. Perhaps the appeal of city living and changing culture are the reasons why they hold onto their spacious homes.
21. Memphis, TN
In the heart of Music City, Memphis faces 29.4% of larger homes occupied by empty nesters. The city faces the challenge of striking a harmonious balance between preserving the city’s rich musical heritage and creating housing opportunities that cater to the present and future generations.
22. Jacksonville, FL
The demand for housing in Florida is at an all-time high. However, finding a home for your family might be difficult here as Florida’s Sunshine State has a high amount of 30% of homes belonging to empty nesters.
23. Buffalo, NY
Buffalo has 30.5% of family-sized homes occupied by empty nesters. Seeking spacious living arrangements for families is a struggle in this area.
24. Cleveland, OH
Cleveland stands out with a substantial 30.8% of family-sized homes in the possession of the older generation. The balance between housing accessibility and the desire for larger residences is a pressing concern.
25. Birmingham, AL
Birmingham takes the lead in the list, with a striking 31.1% of family-sized homes belonging to empty-nesters. This statistic suggests a significant impact on the availability of suitable homes for the younger generation.