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This demographic could have a big impact on Atlanta’s future

by Chip Bell

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It’s not news that millions of Baby Boomers are planning to move over the next several years. But when those Boomers do start moving, their effect on local markets will certainly be newsworthy, and one that Atlanta agents should be prepared for.

There are three reasons most homeowners between the ages of 61 and 90 want to sell their home and move elsewhere: they want to be closer to friends and family; they want to downsize; or they’re planning on retiring. And as Sue Rossi, broker and owner of the Illinois-based RE/MAX 2000, wrote in a recent Builder article: “That’s not new news.”

The news is how widespread this age group is.

In, 2014, when the U.S. Census last released population data, an analysis from Pew Research Center discovered that 97 percent of counties saw an increase in their 65-and-older population since 2010.

By state, the 65-and-up population varies (see our table at the end of this article). It makes up 12.37 percent of Georgia’s general population.

But despite the state having one of the lowest shares of older residents, the Atlanta Regional Commission has projected that by 2030, one in five Atlanta residents will be over the age of 60. According to a report from Forbes, Atlanta is one of the most rapidly aging cities in America.

Why it matters

The reason these figures are so important is because 27 million Baby Boomers plan to eventually move – and 13 percent of them within the next four years.

Older buyers are particular in ways much different than their younger counterparts. They want homes and neighborhoods with very specific amenities, like close bus stops, drug stores and churches.

“The decisions the nation’s Baby Boomers and other older homeowners make will have an enormous impact on the demand for housing and new mortgage credit for the foreseeable future,” said Dave Lowman, executive vice president of single-family business at Freddie Mac. “Whether they buy new homes or decide to refinance and renovate their current ones, the size of this generation, and the fact that they hold approximately $8 trillion of the nation’s home equity, makes it very important that we watch what they do.”

Rank State Pct. of population over 65 years old
1 Florida 19.06%
2 Maine 18.24%
3 West Virginia 17.78%
4 Vermont 17.02%
5 Pennsylvania 16.69%
6 Montana 16.62%
7 Delaware 16.43%
8 Hawaii 16.07%
9 Oregon 15.97%
10 Arizona 15.90%
11 Rhode Island 15.84%
12 Iowa 15.79%
13 New Hampshire 15.79%
14 South Carolina 15.76%
15 Arkansas 15.68%
16 Ohio 15.50%
17 Connecticut 15.44%
18 Michigan 15.44%
19 Alabama 15.39%
20 Missouri 15.37%
21 New Mexico 15.25%
22 Wisconsin 15.21%
23 South Dakota 15.16%
24 Tennessee 15.07%
25 Massachusetts 15.06%
26 Kentucky 14.80%
27 North Carolina 14.69%
28 New Jersey 14.68%
29 New York 14.66%
30 Oklahoma 14.48%
31 Nebraska 14.39%
32 Idaho 14.38%
33 Kansas 14.38%
34 Indiana 14.27%
35 Mississippi 14.27%
36 Minnesota 14.25%
37 North Dakota 14.16%
38 Nevada 14.11%
39 Washington 14.06%
40 Illinois 13.88%
41 Virginia 13.78%
42 Maryland 13.76%
43 Wyoming 13.75%
44 Louisiana 13.57%
45 California 12.87%
46 Colorado 12.69%
47 Georgia 12.37%
48 Texas 11.49%
49 Utah 10.02%
50 Alaska 9.49%

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