Seniors who own a home should feel richer. Homeowners 62 and older saw their housing wealth grow by 0.3% in the third quarter—or $24 billion. That brought senior housing wealth to a total record high of $7.19 trillion, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association reports.
The increase was due to a 0.5% uptick in seniors’ home values, the report notes.
“Research suggests that as we age, Americans will spend more of our hard-earned retirement assets on health care, such as insurance, prescription drugs, in-home care, and other services that help us remain independent,” says Steve Irwin, president of NRMLA. “A retirement plan that includes the responsible use of home equity may be the best option that can help ensure health care spending doesn’t become a financial burden for many retired couples.”
For the overall market, rising home prices have meant rising housing wealth for most homeowners, regardless of age, economists said at the Real Estate Forecast Summit, hosted by the National Association of REALTORS®, last week. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, presented during the summit a chart showing the uptick in homeowners’ wealth: