The 55+ Housing Market is, Well, Booming

Posted on November 12, 2019 by

Have you heard the term “OK Boomer”? It seems to be everywhere lately and is used by Millennials as a verbal eye-roll — a reaction to clueless Baby Boomers. Ironically, I first heard the term, “OK Boomer” on the same day I read about the Q3 rise in builder confidence in the 55+ housing market. While older adults may not be as “hip” as the young folks on some fronts, they are contributing impressively to an economic boom (ha!) enjoyed by all ages.

The latest from NAHB’s 55+ Housing Market Index shows that builder confidence in the single-family, 55+ housing market was up in the third quarter of 2019. That marks a return to a record-high rate of 72 — the highest since the index was created in 2008.

The stats align with our experience. Gilbert & Sheppard clients, primarily builders and developers of 55+ communities, continue to see impressive growth in age-targeted and age-restricted projects. They are guided by buyers who have a clear-eyed vision of the type of home they seek and the amenities they expect. That’s why, as we emphasize to our clients, it’s so essential that amenities — from walking trails to health centers and community gardens — be complete before a community opens.

We’ve also been interested to see an increase among Boomers in mid-rise multifamily projects that include rental units. One of the best examples of this emerging trend is Evoq, a deluxe, fully-amenitized suburban Atlanta rental community with 5 floors, 140 units, and 23 unique floor plans. As reflected in the broader residential sector, the 55+ rental market is robust in many parts of the country. This expansion is fueled in part by the traditional preference among Boomers for options and flexibility.

So, to all this we say, “OK Millennials (and Gen-X’ers)! Don’t discount the power of the Baby Boomers!” There’s never been a more exciting time to partner with builders and developers as they define and deliver a residential experience as unique and innovative as their target generation.

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