Baby Boomer Housing: Busting Myths About 50+ Homeowners

The theory goes, baby boomers are on the brink of financial disaster as they approach retirement—looking to downsize from their McMansions and find cheap community living in a warmer climate. The 50+ crowd does have a large contingent that is financially feeble, but they are either blissfully unaware or they are procrastinating. Research reveals that while Baby Boomers aged 50-59 have seen their wealth greatly diminish since the financial crisis, their retirement plans will account for almost one in every four dollars spent on housing within the next five years.

With median assets of less than $250,000--and half of that tied up in their homes--most analysts believe Baby Boomers are looking to downscale and reduce debt. Research shows nearly two thirds (63%) don't plan on moving from their current homes. Most (62%) have lived there for more than ten years, and (85%) plan on staying there. Nearly (40%) of Baby Boomers plan on undertaking major home improvement projects in the next three years. Upgrades to your home to add hand railings and access ramps are practical. Many say the renovations they are doing to their homes are being made to increase their home's value or to make repairs. Aging-friendly features are last on many Baby Boomers list, in spite of the fact that three-quarters of Baby Boomer households have already suffered a major health incident or have a chronic health condition. Only one-in-five favour the 'active adult' lifestyle of senior housing. Nearly as many Baby Boomers are upsizing (46%) as are downsizing (54%).

While (22%) of Baby Boomers say that their next home will be in a multifamily rental, most (56%) say they plan to buy a single-family home, whether they are looking for a place with more room--or cutting expenses. Even though 'middle age' for these Baby Boomers would mean they would have to live to be about 120 years old, more than half will seek mortgage financing for their next home. Most 50+ Baby Boomers say that if they do move, it will be within 30km of their current location. Two-thirds (67%) will stay in the province. Being close to family is just as important as looking for a 'change in climate' when it comes to planning a move.


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Hans Taal

Hans Taal

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CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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