Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Boomer entitlement and housing prices...

According to this piece here, 39% of all home sales in the US in 2005 were second homes. As in the people buying them already had a first home, and just felt like they needed another. This figure includes both vacation homes and "investment" homes. 39%!!! 39% of homes being sold are going to people who already have homes!!! They are being used for vacation, or for investment purposes, and in both cases they're driving up housing costs so much that hard-working young folk like myself can't even dream of buying first homes without selling our goddamn souls.

And check out this quote from an economist on the matter:

"Baby boomers are favorably positioned in terms of affordability, as well as being at the stage in life when people are most interested in making that kind of a lifestyle purchase."
So the boomers, who fought for social change in their youth, then betrayed their ideals and enjoyed unprecedented success as adults, are now entitled to "lifestyle" choices that deliver posh vacations and hundreds of thousands in equity income? Boomers are making these choices at the expense of the "lifestyle choices" of the younger generations. Generation Y is currently having a very difficult time making the "lifestyle choice" to subsist, let alone achieve middle-class status.

It is a zero-sum game. When the Boomers "win," when they over-indulge on real-estate, when they lock-up the job market, when they bleed social security dry, it is the youths that suffer. I can only hope that in my middle-age, I shall not forget the struggles of my youth, and I shall not use what little privledge I've managed to gain by that time to exploit the youths of the time...


At 6:15 PM, Blogger brenda said...

Buying a house when you're young is supposed to be hard. What's wrong with boomers choosing to invest their bucks in additional real estate? There is no moratorium on building houses; they're just expensive to purchase.

I think there may be someone else here with entitlement issues.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Zac said...

Yes, I have entitlement issues. I think I'm entitled to a decent standard of living. I think I should be able to achieve a decent standard of living with a little hard work. As it is, buying a house when young in California isn't just hard, it's damn near impossible.

And what's wrong with boomers choosing to invest their bucks in real estate? It drives up the prices so that other folk either can't afford to buy houses or can only do so under crushing debt - that's what's wrong with it. I think the Boomers should just take their pensions and go watch Matlock. Is that cold? Maybe. But I'm pissed about the way things are. If it seemed like I'd be able to buy a house anytime within the next five years, I might be a little more sympathetic to their "plight."

At 9:25 AM, Blogger brenda said...

Down with the capitalist pigs.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Zac said...



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