The last of the Boomers turn 55 in 2019. Though millennial buyers are nipping at their heels, Boomers still remain the largest home buying demographic in the US.

Steve Burch and Chris Porter with John Burns Real Estate Consulting have recently published their research on Boomer housing preferences in the National Association of Home Buyers’ Online 2018 Summer Edition of +55 Housing.

Here’s a snapshot of the Burch/Porter research….

Boomers tend to gravitate to urban-like living in the suburbs. Their substantial net worth, driven by equity in their current homes, enables them to buy more expensive (per square footage) than traditional suburban homes but less expensive urban/downtown homes.

In terms of housing interiors, Boomers prefer

  • flex floor plans that accommodate various activities/interests and friends/family
  • compact space that works…functional (washers/dryers in kitchens or in closets next to kitchens)
  • smart tech (within reason)
  • pet friendly (pets are surrogate children who are part of the family – make specific place for their toys)
  • access to outside even if space tiny but want little, if any, outdoor maintenance responsibilities
  • storage (creative and out-of-sight)

Remind yourselves that Boomers are living longer than any generation before them and, because of that longevity, they are working longer than any generation before them. Look at these two-person household statistics…

  • ages 55-59, 79% has 1 full time worker; 43% has two full time workers
  • ages 60-64, 48% has 1 full time worker;25% has two full time workers
  • ages 65-69, 22% has 1 full time worker; 8% has 2 full time workers
  • ages 70-74, 10% has 1 full time worker; 4% has 2 full time workers

Only 20% of working Boomers who are 55+ want to live in age-restricted communities. 33% of working Boomers who are 65+ will at least consider living in age-restricted communities. If one member of a 55+ household is retired, willingness to consider age-restricted communities shoots up to 42%.

In terms of moving between states, 26% of 55+ households with no retirees will consider moving between states. 31% of households with at least one retiree will consider moving between states.

Boomers are the first “true” sandwich generation. They are often caring for both their aging parents and their adult children. In fact, 41% of Boomers think it’s likely that an elderly parent (18%), adult child (13%) or both (10%) will live with them. Currently, 7% of all Boomers have at least one minor child living with them. 14% of Boomers ages 55-59 have at least one minor child living with them.

Such sandwich generation concerns have real impacts on multi-generational housing. Currently, 60% of Boomers have extra bedrooms for their parents/children. 29% have guest suites that have a bedroom, kitchenette and small living area.

Click here for the entire Burch/Porter report… https://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/publications/55-plus-housing-online-magazine.aspx?_ga=2.90003291.1734507297.1533144484-76176965.1515443807