Boomer Housing Trends

Boomer Housing Trends

Posted 02/20/2014

It’s a common scenario playing out in hundreds of households across the country each day: the kids grow up and move away, leaving Mom and Dad with a house that just doesn’t fit their lifestyles any more.

“We’re looking at a huge wave of people whose housing needs are changing,” Manny Gonzales, a California-based architect, told CNBC recently. “It’s even bigger than Gen Y, which has driven the apartment boom that has had an enormous impact on housing.”

Boomers have redefined every other phase of popular culture, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t do the same for retirement. More than 78 million strong, baby boomers are reaching retirement age (65) at a record pace—10,000 per day, to be exact, according to the Pew Research Center — and living years longer than previous generations. By the time all the boomers will have turned 65 in 2030, 18 percent of the nation’s population will be at least that age, according to the research center’s projections. Compare that to the population makeup just four years ago, when a little more than 10 percent of Americans were ages 65 and older.

Developers are taking notice. Here’s a snapshot of the boomer hot-buttons home builders are trying to accommodate:

  • Connection: Whether it be family or neighbors, baby boomers want to form bonds with those around them.  The age-old desire to retire alone, away from the noise, is becoming less prevalent as an increasing number of older adults crave connection with their neighbors.
  • Convenience: Development features have shifted from the extravagant to the practical as baby boomers desire simplicity and convenience in their busy lifestyles. With many working way beyond retirement age, older adults have less time to keep up with high-maintenance amenities. Larger yards are being replaced with outdoor rooms and bigger patios for entertaining guests. Yard design has shifted from high-maintenance lawns to decorative landscaping or flower beds for gardening enthusiasts.
  • Customization: Homes with multi-purpose flex rooms are popular with active boomers who might need office, entertainment or exercise space. Guest casitas and generational suites for “boomeranging” family members are gaining favor. Furthermore, boomers who have spent time caring for elderly parents also are planning ahead for their own age-related issues. Their preferences lean toward single-story layouts, wide doors and accessible bathrooms.

Maracay Homes already is looking ahead toward this massive cultural shift. Check out the floor plans in our New Arizona Living Collection to learn more.