Marketing & Sales

The Boom is Here, The Boom Is Now—What's Next For Builders?

The massive 55+ population and the high stakes of living to 100 offer immense opportunities for developers and homebuilders.

Marketing & Sales

The Boom is Here, The Boom Is Now—What's Next For Builders?

The massive 55+ population and the high stakes of living to 100 offer immense opportunities for developers and homebuilders.

December 19th, 2023
The Boom is Here, The Boom Is Now—What's Next For Builders?
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The current 55+ demographic is huge, as everyone knows. Less appreciated are the ongoing need – and opportunity – for builders and developers to provide communities and housing that allow the country’s aging population to thrive. As stated in a recent TBD article, longevity is a game changer when it comes to housing. With people today living longer, it’s important to consider how homes and communities play a role in helping people live better.

The 55+ demographic is huge and growing and has diverse needs, so this 55+ segment represents a tremendous opportunity to offer a wide array of housing types, from traditional 55+ MPCs, rental products, co-living, etc. 55+ households are the least likely to move, with only 3% to 5% relocating in a given year, so there are opportunities both in typical retirement destination markets and in the communities where they currently live,” says Peter Dennehy, senior vice president, consulting at John Burns Research & Consulting.

Here are three reasons why serving this demographic is vital to homebuilders:

  • The 55+ population is a huge, diverse, and affluent population group, and there will be tremendous growth in this segment in the next decade.
  • Nearly 114 million people will be 55+ by 2033, which is 10 million more than today. The 55+ cohort makes up 30% of the current population, 46% of current households, 54% of current homeowners, and 30% of current renters.
  • The 55+ population is living longer, staying in the workforce longer, and has nearly $100 million in net worth (68% of total net worth in the U.S.). Within this group, 56% of homeowners own their homes free and clear.
Source: John Burns Research and Consulting

Understanding the 55+ Buyer

The sheer size of this demographic group is just the beginning of the story. Understanding what’s in the hearts and on the minds of your future new-home 55+ consumer is key to getting the product right and creating urgency and demand with this discretionary buyer.

Builders and developers will do well to understand that as people age, their values change. Early on, humans are more egocentric, and later, with more time, self-reflection, and life experience, they become more altruistic. People go from looking to escape when experiencing the time famine of building careers or raising families to looking for more ways to engage and plug in as they approach retirement or become empty nesters.

This age group also tends to place more value on experiences rather than material things. How can new homes and communities deliver meaningful experiences for prospective buyers? Experiential marketing strategies are crucial to a successful 55+ marketing plan.

If you haven’t heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you should do a quick study. Long story short, the new-home 55+ consumer is most likely at the tip of the pyramid where all of their basic needs have been fulfilled and now the focus is on self-actualization—becoming their best self. This concept has huge implications to amenities and lifestyle activation in communities that will appeal to this age group now and in the future.

Source: The Ipsum Group

Author Dan Buettner discovered what are dubbed “blue zones”—the five places in the world where people consistently live the longest, healthiest lives. According to Buettner, the secret to living to 100 is not a silver bullet, but rather a silver buckshot. Taking the time to understand the myriad ways to cater to this buyer group’s needs will benefit builders in creating communities that support and foster longevity.

As placemakers, homebuilders, and lifestyle facilitators, the stakes have never been higher. Offering our current and future 55+ residents the opportunity to thrive and live their best lives requires a thoughtfully designed environment that builders and developers should all strive to deliver.

Stay tuned for more consumer insights, trends, and tips for success from our Everything 55+ series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Blake

Deborah Blake

Founder, The Ipsum Group

Deborah Blake, founder of the Ipsum Group, focuses on the business of creating communities and homes that respond to the needs and aspirations of the 55+ real estate consumer.

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Founder, The Ipsum Group

Deborah Blake, founder of the Ipsum Group, focuses on the business of creating communities and homes that respond to the needs and aspirations of the 55+ real estate consumer.

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