Some interesting findings from a study about current living situation, moving intentions, and housing preferences of Baby Boomers in the USA.
According to the study conducted by The Demand Institute, most Baby Boomers (63%) plan to retire exactly where they are – i.e. “age in place.”
They also feel their homes are places they can stay as they get older. This sentiment exists despite the fact that many of these homes lack age-friendly features such as a single story, low maintenance, and accessibility features.
But despite the fact that many Baby Boomers are planning to stay in homes that lack age-friendly features, a significant number will make style and value a priority over age-friendly features. In fact, the top Boomer reasons to renovate are similar to those of younger generations.
The authors point out a few examples of consumer-facing industries and policies that might be drawn from the findings:
1) Not Ready to Settle
Many Baby Boomers are looking to upgrade their housing. “Upsizers” will seek more expensive or larger homes, and even many “downsizers” will look for upgrades to their homes. Many non-movers have plans to remodel kitchens and bathrooms or make other signicant improvements. Boomers will weigh both practical and aspirational considerations when moving or renovating.
2) Evolving the Housing Stock
The population is ageing, but Boomers are not necessarily looking for “senior” products and solutions. While there is limited interest in ageing- and health-specific home improvements, those that make the home easier and less costly to maintain do resonate with Boomers. Among those moving, the majority will seek single-story homes, and subtle touches that make ageing in the home easier without sacrificing style, like smaller yards and universal design elements, will appeal to Boomers.
3) Lending Opportunity
Of those Boomers planning to purchase homes, most plan to use mortgage financing. Further, most Boomers who currently own carry mortgage debt, creating an opportunity for mortgage products and services geared toward this demographic.
4) Help Wanted
The opportunity and need extend beyond the home and into the surrounding community, particularly as Boomers enter their later years. Communities that once comprised mostly young families will have ever more senior citizens, many living on their own and with mobility limitations or special health needs. As a result, there will be an increased need for public and private programs that help the elderly stay in their homes, whether it be transportation services, home health care, nutrition assistance, or community centres.
If you know about age-friendly housing and would like to help us refine an app that measures and monitors age-friendliness for residential living, please contact us.