The recent economic downturn has prompted significant changes in housing trends for those age 50 and older. Buyers in this demographic group are more concerned about finances and less concerned about design than they were just a few years ago.
Although previous studies typically found that most buyers over age 50 depended on the proceeds from a home sale to finance a new purchase, current data shows that option has diminished since the economic downturn. In 2009, 55 percent of active adult home buyers reported that their down payments came from the proceeds of a previous home sale, down from 92 percent in 2007 and 100 percent in 2005. At the same time, 45 percent of active adult home buyers said their down payments came from cash or savings in 2009, while no buyers reported doing so in 2005 and 2007.
Home buyers over age 50 will play an increasingly large role in the housing market in the next ten years. By the year 2020, as baby boomers move into this age bracket, almost 45 percent of all U.S. households will include someone at least 50 years old. The number of those households seeking housing better suited to their changing needs will therefore rise significantly. Over 55,000 housing starts are projected in 50 and older communities in 2011, up 30 percent from estimated 2010 levels.
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