What effect has the recession had on the average consumer? It has humbled them and made their “hot buttons” a little less hot! Big, flashy and expensive are no longer the trend. The consumer seems to be focused on necessity but also what is individually important to them.
Consumer demands and desires are shifting because of our current economic turmoil but also because of shifts in consumer preferences. We are selling real estate in a time where listening and research are more important than ever. This includes reading current reports on your niche market. For the 55+ markets, there is an interesting read over at Market Watch. You can read it here.
Who would have thought the day would come when golf courses where no longer a strong selling point for retirement living? We can thank this nasty recession for part of that downturn, but it also speaks to the consumer’s time and how they want to spend that time and with whom!
There are few topics from the article that are interesting.
Simplification of Desired Amenities
This is trend that I have previously discussed here on Idea Views. There is an obvious trend heading towards more natural and simple amenities in retirement and resort markets. These include walking paths, biking trails, and pavilions.
This scale back correlates with the economic times. In the Market Watch article, it is stated that current studies are finding that the cost of living in 55+ homes is more important than a warmer climate. For years a warmer climate and a golf course where the selling points, but things are changing.
The article also has an interesting list of what 55+ home buyers are looking for in a new home. Many of the features listed are related to health needs instead of extra curricular activities. Bathroom aids, wider doorways, accessible public transportation, and non-slip floors where among the list. These amenities are important to the 55+ markets. They care more about the necessities.
A Shift From Extraordinary to Practicality
By reading the Market Watch article you can see this shift occurring in the 50+ home markets. Most buyers in this market are living on a fixed income. They are not as focused on the bells and whistles. I think you can include the high-tech electronics with that as well. They are looking for a certain degree of ease in their lifestyles. Low maintenance and accessibility seems to be the name of the game for 55+ homes. Will the trend shift back towards the resort style living? Possibly. It depends on the economy. This is why it’s important to stay on top of marketing trends and demographics. You have to understand who you’re selling to in order to sell at all.