Rising Housing Costs Hit Massachusetts Seniors Particularly Hard

With housing costs and other living expenses continuing to rise in the state of Massachusetts, many residents are finding it increasingly more difficult to stay afloat. This is particularly true among the elderly population, with Massachusetts’s seniors representing one of the highest state populations of individuals who are struggling just to pay for the basics.

Massachusetts Seniors Struggle to Get By

According to a recent analysis conducted by the University of Massachusetts-Boston, over 61 percent of single residents of Massachusetts who are at least 65 years old cannot afford food, housing or other living expenses. These figures represent the second-highest proportion of seniors in the nation who are unable to make ends meet, with Mississippi taking the number one spot at 63.7 percent and New York coming in third at 60.4 percent.

Things don’t look much better for older couples living in Massachusetts. According to the same report, 29.1 percent of couples aged 65 and older are unable to cover the cost of basic, including paying for housing. This makes Massachusetts the state with the ninth-highest proportion of struggling elderly couples, with Mississippi once again taking the number one position at 34.2 percent.

Researchers found that the issue is particularly problematic among older women and minorities. In Boston alone, 72 percent of single women living alone do not have enough money to cover basic expenses compared to 61 percent of men. With Massachusetts being a state that is filled with high-tech successes along with a building boom, the challenges being faced by the senior population are going largely unnoticed. Unfortunately, many of the state’s older residents do not qualify for public assistance. Meanwhile, some of them are finding that their private pensions are disappearing in retirement as the state’s cost of living continues to remain high. In fact, according to many measures, the cost of living in just getting higher, and this includes the cost of housing.

Housing Prices on the Rise in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports that the median sales price for a single-family home in Massachusetts topped $400,000 for the first time ever in the month of June. Reaching $410,000 for the month, the figure represents a 7.9 percent annual increase. During this same period, the median sales price for a condo in the state increased by 3.3 percent to $361,500 when compared to June 2016.

While a number of factors contribute to rising home costs, the biggest reason for the increases in Massachusetts is too few homes to meet the demand. In fact, the state’s inventory of available single-family homes and condos reached its lowest level in June than any other June since at least 2004. This is even more shocking considering that June is supposed to be one of the busier months in the real estate market. With the market being so tight in Boston, the higher prices are rippling even further out than before, which means even more residents may find themselves needing to look outside of the city in order to find affordable housing options.

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