Baby Boomer Housing Needs – 3 Things to Consider

by Chicago Agent


As baby boomer housing needs adapt to retirement, agents should be considering several complementary factors when finding them properties.

By Peter Ricci

Baby boomer housing needs are a common topic here on Chicago Agent, and for good reason – a recent national survey by Coldwell Banker found that 87 percent of its agents reported having at least one baby boomer client who owned or was looking to own a second property.

Of course, all baby boomers are unique, and as the population ages, they all will have changing housing needs; we’ve got three important facts to consider about baby boomers as they re-enter the real estate market.

Baby Boomer Housing Needs – 3 Factors

1. Finances – The financial downturn affected the balance sheets of many baby boomers, as 401(k) savings and other safety nets that many counted on have slipped a bit; therefore, some boomers may be holding off on their home purchases, or reconsidering what kind of properties they want to move to. Which leads us to…

2. Shifting areas of demand – Between 1990 and 2010, baby boomers accounted for 80 percent of new-home demand, and the trend was always for larger, more expensive homes; as The Commercial Appeal noted, though, that trend has reversed in the post-boom housing market, and boomers are now looking to downsize to smaller residences. In addition, single-family properties are not quite the draw they used to be; from 2010 to 2030, it’s expected that multifamily housing will make up 80 percent of demand for baby boomer housing needs, and single-family homes just 12 percent.

3. Considering the move – As AARP spokesperson Nancy Thompson explained in an excellent MarketWatch piece, for baby boomers considering a move, it would benefit any agent to ask these questions: do the boomers in question have a medical condition that would not work with some properties? Can the property be adapted to their needs? And what of transportation? Can the prospective buyer still drive, or will the new property need to be located near sources of public transportation?

Pew Research recently reported that for every day for the next 18 years, 10,000 baby boomers reach the age of 65. So, with that imposing stat in mind, what approaches have you found most beneficial with baby boomer clients?

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