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Study Reveals Practicality of 55+ Buyers

In today’s real estate market, buyers are more concerned with financial issues as opposed to those dealing with design. In a recent joint study by the 50+ Housing Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the MetLife Mature Market Institute, it was shown that 55+ buyers are more practical than ever when selecting a new home.

The study, “Housing Trends Update for the 55+ Market,” focuses on data that was recently released from the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) on the 55+ demographic, primarily those living in active adult communities.

Here are some of the interesting conclusions from the study:

  • In 2005 and 2007, no active adult community buyers reported having to tap cash or savings for a down payment.  In 2009, 45 percent of the average buyer’s down payment came from cash or savings.
  • Living near friends and family ranked first in importance for 55+ buyers. A desire for less expensive housing was second.
  • 55+ buyers showed a decreased interest in the design, amenities and appearance of their residence and communities when compared to data obtained before the recession.
  • Proximity to work is much more important to today’s 55+ homebuyers. In 2009, 12 percent said it was of importance versus 2 percent in 2001.
  • Several homebuyers also reported that they work from home, which further shows evidence of a delayed retirement trend.

For more information, the survey can be downloaded from www.nahb.org/55PlusResearch or www.MatureMarketInstitute.com.

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The New Deal for Selling in the New Decade

The times as well as customer base has changed in the real estate market immensely, especially when it comes to selling to the active adult market.

As boomers dominate the sales landscape with knowledge and purchasing power, real estate agents and marketers need to learn how to tailor their practices. The NAHB’s 50+ Council put together a webinar to explain some of the specifics.

Special considerations have to be taken when marketing to the 50+ consumer, even down to which generation he or she is from. The generations discussed were:

The Greatest Generation – Born 1901 to 1924
The Silent Generation – Born 1925 to 1942
The Boomer Generation – Born 1946 to 1964

Each generation has its own set of experiences and beliefs which should be addressed when selecting marketing materials such as photos. (Continued…)

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