Real estate made baby boomers wealthy. Now is a good opportunity for them to get richer.

Baby boomers built a lot of wealth through home equity. Ariel Skelley/Getty Images Baby boomers have built a $82 trillion nest egg.Nearly one-fourth of that was built through real estate equity.With less pressure from interest rates, they can take advantage of the current real estate market, too.

With their $82 trillion nest egg, baby boomers have helped the US economy with their spending. They’re also in the perfect position to help themselves by taking advantage of the current real estate market.

According to a new report this week from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), older Americans are making up a larger portion of home buyers and are in a better position to purchase a home in the current market. And with more sellers cutting prices and signs that prices could start falling, buying real estate now puts them in a perfect place to build even more wealth the next time prices rise, especially since equity- and cash-rich boomers are less susceptible to sky-high mortgage rates than younger buyers.

According to the report, repeat buyers — people who have previously purchased a home — now make up 68% of all purchases. Since 1981, the average for this group was 62%.

In addition, the average age for a repeat buyer this year was 58, down one year from last year’s all-time high of 59. That is right on the cusp of boomers aged between 59 and 77.

According to the NAR, older Americans are better positioned to buy houses.

“We are still talking about an incredibly difficult market for first-time buyers to enter, even if there’s slightly less competition,” NAR deputy chief economist Jessica Lautz wrote. “If there’s a multi-offer situation, an all-cash buyer or someone who has a lot of equity is likely to win. And that person is going to be older.”

Interest rates have priced many younger Americans out of the housing market. The Good Brigade/Getty Images

That’s where boomers have the advantage.

Nearly 18% of the US population is 65 or older, the highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking the rate in 1920. However, boomers have about half of the combined net worth in the US at approximately $82 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.

About 24% of that wealth ($19 trillion) is in real estate — more than the $16 trillion they have in pensions and just behind the $21 trillion they have in stocks.

While mortgage rates have fallen a bit in recent weeks, they are still north of 7%, pricing many young Americans out of the housing market. Homeownership is now deemed unaffordable in nearly 80% of all US counties.

However, boomers can make stronger bids on homes for sale because of their savings and real estate equity. They can make larger down payments or even all-cash purchases as they are more likely to own a home already, and 68% of adults 70 years and older are mortgage-free.

According to the NAR, the average down payment for a repeat buyer was 19%, compared to just 8% for first-timers.

Meanwhile, more than one-third of house purchases in September were all-cash, according to the real estate broker RedFin.

Halfpoint Images/Getty Images Home buyers could soon start to see big drops in prices

The housing market has been in an ugly place for buyers, but there are signs that they are beginning to see better deals, with home construction on the rise and more sellers dropping their asking prices.

A growing inventory mixed with active price cuts is good news for people buying houses, and several experts are predicting big cost drops, including Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist of GMO.

“House prices will come down,” Grantham said on “The Compound and Friends” podcast. “30% would be a pretty good guess.”

David Rosenberg, Rosenberg Research president and former chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch, told Insider in February that house prices could fall by as much as 25% from their peak in 2022.

Even if prices don’t fall dramatically, they are at least holding steady.

If we assume that demand and prices will rise again in the second half of 2024, when the Federal Reserve may begin to lower interest rates, now is the time to buy a house if interest rates are not a concern. And for many boomers, they are not.

This article was originally published by a . Read the Original article here. .