Although many residential real estate professionals are anticipating a flood Baby Boomers to downsize from their current homes, a new report suggests that the majority of that generation’s cohort will stay where they’re at.
The report, The Demand Institute’s Housing and Community Survey, indicates that 63 percent of Baby Boomers plan to retire and stay where they are.
The survey polled more than 4,000 Baby Boomers and compiled the results into a comprehensive report addressing issues of aging and retirement. Some 37 percent of the respondents say they plan to move out of their current home. However, rather than downsize, 46 percent want to move into a nicer home with more space, according to the report.
Todd Harff, a Baby Boomer marketing specialist at Woodbridge, Va.–based Creating Results Strategic Marketing, isn’t surprised by the data.
“I'm not really very concerned with what ‘most’ Boomers want,” he says via e-mail. “There are 78 million of them and if only 10% move, that is a huge number.”
And having a product to appeal to the lifestyle of those who choose to move is important for home builders and apartment developers, equally.
“Builders can't take for granted that Boomers will move,” he says. “They need to offer a product and experience that Boomers can't have at home and narrowly segment the target market. It's not a big wave to ride… it's a series of smaller waves and builders need to carefully pick the one that is right for their talents and potential.”
Anne Holmes, CEO of the National Association of Baby Boomer Women, says some Baby Boomer parents choose to move because their children and grandchildren live elsewhere and a relocation means being closer to family.
But that’s a small percentage, Holmes says.
“For the majority of us, I don’t think we are yet at a point where we want to head to warmer climes so we can retire to play shuffleboard or golf,” she says. “And, at the same time, our friends and our churches and favorite restaurants, and shops are all here. So that’s another call to stay put.”
Lindsay Machak is an Associate Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak.