Will baby boomers give homebuilders the same boost in sales as they did during the 70s and 80s? Many homebuilders seem to think so as they predict the aging boomers will be moving into retirement style housing soon. But will they call it “retirement” and will they even retire? What will their lifestyle look like? The tag “boomers” came along due to this group being among the wealthiest. Will this still hold true? I suggest reading a great article addressing the topic. You can read it here. I will use the traditional labels for sake of this article.
It is no secret that the 55+ home buyer market has been a primary target for the real estate industry. When you look at the numbers, you can understand why the industry is gearing up for the movement. According to the RIS Media article, a quarter of the U.S., more than 85 million people, will be 55 or older by 2014. When asked, 40% of 55+ homeowners say that they are interested in alternative housing.
The most interesting part of the article is where the debate of the actual product is talked about. As the author puts it, “The baby boomers are absolutely unpredictable”. Unlike the older boomers, this new wave is more individualistic.
What we do know about the aging boomers is that they aren’t particularly interested in owning and maintaining a large home. According to the article, most retirees are asking for homes with average of 1900 s.f. They aren’t looking to expand their life; they are trying to make things easier.
I agree that we shouldn’t assume that retiring home buyers are looking for luxury in their lifestyle. In fact, data and polls would suggest the opposite. It seems that the 55+ markets are moving for two reasons: to be closer to family and to downsize. It’s becoming more evident that they aren’t looking for the more expensive and luxurious lifestyle. However, they still expect finishes in their home that match what they are used to. While I agree that we cant assume what these aging boomers want, we can be sure that they want it cheaper than they have in the past.