NY Times: Aging Population Rethinks Retirement Living

The traditional Sun Belt retirement communities may be a thing of the past as more seniors are looking for housing that caters to an active lifestyle and is located near relatives and cultural opportunities, the New York Times reported May 30.

This shift in preference has created a demand for developers to increase their housing options, with some residents looking for a place to work from home and others looking for a community with outdoor activities and a bustling social life. 

“Today people do not want a geezer ghetto,” Margaret Wylde, president of ProMatura Group, a market research firm in Oxford, Miss., told the New York Times. “Buyers want an active environment with walking trails and easy access to amenities outside the community.”

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In addition, more seniors are purchasing homes in age-restricted communities. These communities, the Times reported, have boomed since 2012, growing from 13,000 that year to 21,000 in 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders. 

The growth of age-restricted communities will continue as the number of people age 60 to 75 is expected to increase from 46 million currently to 56 million in 2025, Gregg Logan, managing director of real estate consulting firm RCLCO, told the New York Times. 

One such development, Rancho Mission Viejo, caters to different age groups, providing a restricted section for residents age 55 and older. The multigenerational development, which is near San Juan Capistrano, Calif., provides a community where “everyone can mingle in common recreation areas,” the Times reported.

While the community has a space designated for seniors, “a few blocks away are houses designed for families with children. In another nearby area, apartment projects seek to draw single 20-somethings.” 

But age-restricted communities, in particular, are focusing on providing a range of housing features — such as indoor walking tracks, exercise equipment, home offices, one-story houses, community clubs, pools and hiking trails — to entice seniors who are looking to retire somewhere other than the Sun Belt. 

Read the full story here.  

Written by Emily Study

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