Today, more than any other time in history, people are living longer and this is having an impact on many fields that haven’t had to deal with this in the past.
One of those areas is the real estate market. With so many senior citizens looking to downsize their large family homes, the demand for homes has shifted from new or established families just starting out to these older buyers.
Here are a few things you need to know about the impact this generation has on the market:
Downsizing— Although many senior citizens are downsizing their homes, others are still holding onto their older family locations. This actually is impacted by the downturn in the economy with many families having multiple-generations living in the same home to save money and expenses. One other piece of information of note is that many seniors are still living in a home with two more bedrooms than they actually need.
Senior Communities— For years, the only location that seniors could move into were nursing homes. The stigma attached to these (along with the negative news stories of quality and conditions) has led to the creation of other options. One of these is senior living communities. These are whole neighborhoods with smaller homes which only sell to senior citizens. These homes offer amenities such as social programs and activities that help bring in retirees who are looking to stay active with those their own age. Also, many of these communities feature smaller yards for less maintenance.
Other Factors— Safety is another major factor that drives senior home sales, and this can take two different forms. First, the homes themselves tend to be single-level so that the owners don’t have to traverse up and down stairs. Having a home that’s easy to navigate is important for those whose general health may be declining. The other safety issue is the threats from others. Senior citizens are often considered easy targets for criminals. Having gated communities or neighborhoods that are closely connected with low crime rates is another plus for many seniors.
One of the shifts that real estate agents will have to make in the coming years is to learn to cater more towards the needs of senior citizens. With the gradually aging population, there will more demand for specialized housing for these individuals.