Homeownership in old age and at the time of death

TitleHomeownership in old age and at the time of death
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsEngelhardt, GV, Eriksen, MD
JournalEconomics Letters
ISSN Number0165-1765
KeywordsBequests, Elderly homeownership

We construct estimates of U.S. homeownership rates as individuals age and die, using exit-interview data from the Health and Retirement Study. Homeownership falls to under 8% among the oldest old (centenarians). However, most Americans do not live that long—40%–50% die as homeowners. For those, 16% of housing assets are spent down in the final 16 months of life. The remainder is transferred to surviving spouses (52%) and other heirs (32%).

Citation KeyENGELHARDT2022110340