From John Burns:


It’s here. Every month, more than a quarter million Americans are turning 65.  Almost 80 million Baby Boomers, born over a span of 19 years, are shifting gears towards retirement…or whatever else is next.

Here are a few facts:

  1. The Boomers are the largest group of shoppers looking for a home today nationally, based on our Consumer Insights survey.
  2. They were waiting for their home equity to come back, based on our survey in 2012. Now, they have equity in their pockets and they are ready to move.
  3. More than 10,000 of these Boomers are turning 65 every day. This will continue well into the next decade.
  4. They are working longer and living longer.
  5. The Boomers are the most likely to report that they cannot find what they are looking for in today’s existing housing stock.

Of the 22,000 home shoppers who took our 2014 Consumer Insights survey, 42% of them are 55+ and shared with us that:

  • Home design will make them move (it is the third-most-important motivator for moving after location and price), but 55% say they can’t find what they are looking for.
  • 43% want to downsize, with most wanting 1,500–1,999 square feet.
  • Among those without children:
    • 46% want to live in a community that is more multigenerational
    • 33% want an age-restricted community
    • 21% want an age-targeted community

    (Preference for age-restricted and age-targeted communities varies widely by geography.)

The opportunities offered by the 55+ population are huge. They represent:

  • 25% of the total population
  • 50%+ of current homeowners (likely with plenty of equity) and have a homeownership rate in excess of 75%
  • 30%+ of total home transactions

All of these rates are only getting bigger.  The challenge is that the 55+ homeowner population tends to stay in place—less than 3% move per year, although it is higher for the younger portion of this cohort.

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