Not Just For The Young

At the recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, industry experts stated that the segment of the housing industry catering to buyers, and renters, 55 and over would continue to improve.

In a culture that is often youth oriented this trend cannot be over looked because the number of households in the 55+ age group will increase significantly through 2010.  Paul Emrath, NAHB’s vice president of survey and housing policy research says, “We expect to see an increased demand for 55+ housing as more baby boomers turn 55 and seek homes and communities that offer the lifestyle they desire.”

According to the NAHB the number of housing starts in 55+ communities is expected to increase 22 percent to 74,302 units in 2013, and another 20 percent to 89,071 in 2014.

The NAHB says the 55 and over age group isn’t just showing an interest in housing geared to their generation, but many are now taking the necessary steps to purchase a new home.  Bob Karen of Owings Mills, incoming chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council said that, “We are seeing more consumers overcome the inertia of waiting on the sidelines to buy a new home as they become more confident in their local market conditions.”  The reason for the movement towards home buying by the 55+ age group is that many were not able to sell their existing homes at a fair price.

Knowing what this segment of the market wants in terms of homes and communities is an important factor in meeting those needs, and in winning over new customers.  NAHB’s Don Whyte puts it into perspective when he says, “We are servicing the largest growing group of buyers that we have ever seen in this age category, and it is a population that is dramatically different from what it was only a few years ago,”

Other analysts point out that not all in the 55+ generation are gravitating to communities geared towards their age group, but many are looking to downsize existing homes yet still live within the general population, though they may opt for moving to new locations for retirement.

Realistically, everyone in the real estate, mortgage and escrow industries would do well to pay close attention to these potential customers.  We at Prominent Escrow will do our part.