Seniors are on the move in the downtown Boston real estate market
Yesterday, I had a showing at a downtown luxury condo building with a potential buyer in her 60 plus age range. The listing agent, who was young and very polite.
One item that I observed when looking at real estate marketing aimed at seniors. Much of it is condescending.
It is that tone and attitude that if someone is over 60 or in some cases over 55 they need extra help.
Remedial help when it comes to housing. As if people who have been adults for decades and own homes suddenly can’t make wise housing choices without a lot of help from younger less experienced people.
The senior age group is the largest covering an age span of 30 to 50 years. People who are not seniors are the people who are often the experts in senior housing and in all aspects of aging. I am not exactly sure why that is. It would make more sense for seniors to help younger people navigate housing.
My goal is to serve as a resource in any way that I can without being condescending or without assuming there is a one size fits all housing solution for everyone between the ages of 50 and 100. To do that effectively I need to listen carefully.
Buying or selling real estate is rarely driven by age. It is almost happening because of a life change. Retirement can be that change so can the death of a spouse or a medical condition, the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, or changing jobs.
Most life-changing events can happen at almost any age. There is no age at which a person has to move. There isn’t any age at which a person can no longer make decisions about his or her housing.
Did you know August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day? According to the United States Census.
“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason…to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.”
To give proper recognition, we’re going to look at some senior-related data in the housing industry.
According to the Population Reference Bureau,
“The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent.”
In a recent report, Freddie Mac compared the homeownership rates of two groups of seniors: the Good Times Cohort (born from 1931-1941) and the Previous Generations (born in the 1930s). The data shows an increase in the homeownership rate for the Good Times Cohort because seniors are now aging in place, living longer, and maintaining a high quality of life into their later years.This, however, does not mean all seniors are staying in place. Some are actively buying and selling homes. In the 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) showed the percentage of seniors buying and selling:
- Buyers ages 54 to 63 had higher median household incomes and were more likely to be married couples.
- 12% of buyers ages 54 to 63 are first-time homebuyers, 5% (64 to 72), and 4% (73 to 93).
- Buyers ages 54 to 63 purchased because of an interest in being closer to friends and families, job relocation, and the desire to own a home of their own.
- Sellers 54 years and older often downsized and purchased a smaller, less expensive home than the one they sold.
- Sellers ages 64 to 72 lived in their homes for 21 years or more.
Boston Condos and the Bottom Line
According to NAR’s report, 58% of buyers ages 64 to 72 said they need help from an agent to find the right home. The transition from a current home to a new one is significant to undertake, especially for anyone who has lived in the same house for many years. If you’re a senior thinking about the process, let’s get together to help you make the move as smoothly as possible.