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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