October 2015 Newsletter
Our annual conference is just around the corner! Don’t miss an opportunity to network with like-minded communities and peers! This is also a great opportunity to bring those who may want to learn more about retiree demographics, trends, and economic potential. Click Here to learn more about the 2015 Conference.
Does your community recognize the potential of retiree recruitment as a non-traditional economic development strategy? For those who do, their economies have been improved without huge investments in infrastructure, tax abatements, “clawback” agreements, and industrial parks.
So what are you waiting for? Learn more about the Annual Conference and market yourself to this crucial piece of the economic pie.
Jeff Fleming Chair, The AARC
U.S. existing home sales rise more than expected, inventory tighter
CNBC/REUTERS – October 22, 2015
U.S. home resales rose more than expected in September to the second highest monthly sales pace since February 2007, suggesting the housing market continues to show strength compared to the rest of the economy.
The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.55 million units.
August’s sales pace was revised slightly lower to 5.30 million units from the previously reported 5.31 million units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home resales rising to a 5.38 million-unit pace last month. Sales were up 8.8 percent from a year ago.
Sales increased in all four regions of the United States and inventory continued to tighten. Unsold inventory was down to a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in August and 5.4 months a year ago.
“As we enter more softer demand months, we may not really feel the squeeze of tight inventory, but come spring of next year … we could be facing a very tight inventory situation,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.
Nationwide, the medium home price fell to $221,900. That was still an increase of 6.1 percent from one year ago.
The stable pace of home resales in September follows Tuesday’s strong housing starts data, which was buoyed by increased demand for rental apartments.
Housing has steadily improved relative to the rest of the U.S. economy, which has been buffeted by soft global demand, a strong dollar, and weak capital spending in the energy sector.
Housing Trends for Baby Boomers
Anne Baker/National Association of Home Builders
New Features Keep Pace with this Active Generation
Baby boomers, who were the largest American generation until the Millennials took over, are either retired or quickly nearing retirement age. Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 and who count more than 76 million, may be getting older, but they are definitely not ready to head to the retirement home!
The boomer generation is more active than generations past, has a more sophisticated style and wants options and choices in their homes. Whether they are selling the homes where they raised their children and heading to sunnier pastures, or staying put and redesigning to accommodate their retired lifestyle, boomers are making an impact on housing trends.
Some features that home builders and remodelers are seeing as they begin to cater to the boomers include:
Home Offices: Some boomers are choosing to work past the age of 65. As they transition from a traditional 9-to-5 job, however, they want home offices for flexibility. A second career or part-time employment often eliminates the hassle of commuting while keeping them active and bringing in supplementary income.
Tech/Media Centers: The tech-savvy boomer generation wants top-of-the-line amenities for their homes such as a media room with surround sound and central control systems, which manage all media sources in one location. The house may include a wireless home network, remote control lighting and security features.
Wider Doors and Hallways: As a person ages, there is a likelihood that use of a wheelchair might become a necessity. Designing a home that is livable now but can transition and be functional as the occupant ages is important in ensuring that the home will be a good long-term investment. Wider doors and hallways are useful for moving larger furniture today, and will also be wheelchair accessible tomorrow.
Better Lighting/Bigger Windows: The need for more lighting usually increases as we grow older. To accommodate this, builders are adding more windows and making them larger to let in more natural light. They are also adding more light fixtures in areas including under cabinets and in stairwells. Multiple switches to reduce the number of trips and dimmer controls to eliminate glare are other options.
First-Floor Bedrooms and Bathrooms: More than 40% of new homes have master suites downstairs, a 15% increase over a decade ago. Boomers not wishing to go up and down stairs with bad knees and aching backs have helped fuel this trend. The bedrooms also are also larger, with more spacious walk-in closets and bathrooms that have a separate tub and shower and dual sinks.
Easy to Maintain Exteriors/Landscaping: Yard work, painting, and other landscaping chores may no longer be enjoyable to aging home owners. People who move to a new home when they retire may opt for a maintenance-free community. Those that choose to stay in their homes might make improvements to exterior surfaces such as installing stucco, brick or low-maintenance siding. Lawns are being replaced with living patios, decorative landscaping, or flower beds which can be a hobby for gardening enthusiasts.
Flex Space: Flex space has become more prevalent in both new homes and remodeling. Flex spaces are rooms that take on the purpose of the present home owner’s needs but can adjust with changes as they occur. What may have once started out as a guest bedroom can be redecorated to serve as a hobby room or library. This allows home owners to stay in their homes longer as it continues to serve their needs throughout life’s stages.