Seniors Seek Multifamily Units in Warm Climates

 – NationalRealEstateInvestor.com

As the U.S. housing market improves, senior citizens have been looking to sell homes they’ve been holding onto since the recession.

Seniors wanting to get out of underwater homes have been putting them on the market, where one in four home sellers is 65 years or older, according to the National Association of Realtors. Additionally, the National Association of Home Builders said in a fourth quarter report that improvements in the single-family housing market mean seniors are increasingly able to sell their current homes and move into smaller homes or apartments.

Nikki Buckelew, CEO and founder of Austin, Texas-based Seniors Real Estate Institute, says today’s residential brokers need to take the time to learn how to work with seniors to sell their homes and how to help them find either smaller properties or appropriate assisted-living facilities. The seniors housing market is a distinct niche, and Buckelew says in the next few years there will be many more seniors-only realtor teams formed to help owners sell their single-family homes and move into seniors housing.

A decade ago, Buckelew notes, the seniors living communities were not a good fit for the typical real estate agent who had no training in how to work elderly clients. However, she says agents must get trained up quickly, as the Census Bureau estimates that 11.3 million seniors will sell their homes by 2020, and that number is expected to reach 15 million between 2020 and 2030.

“This group of 80-somethings are trying to exit their homes, and the typical agent still isn’t equipped for the transaction,” Buckelew says. “The right team is critical, and should include elder law attorneys, financial planners, estate liquidators, antique appraisers, home inspectors and senior move specialists. Just the move alone is a huge hassle for seniors, as they have a hard time liquidating their personal belongings.”

On the move

Self-storage listing agency Sparefoot said in a recent study that the Southwest, particularly Texas, should get ready for a large influx of seniors. San Antonio topped a list of 15 cities where baby boomers are thriving, with the list also including Austin, Houston and the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission corridor.

The Carolinas also took up top spots in the study, with Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina cracking the top 10, and Columbia, S.C. coming in at number 11. The list is based on government and NAR statistics on boomer population growth, housing affordability and total health care workers per capita.

Boise, Idaho was the northernmost city to make the list, as the rest of the SpareFoot communities listed are in Southern climates. Las Vegas gained about 20 percent more boomers between 2000 and 2010, according to the study, while Chicago and New York City both lost about 9 percent.

Downsizing boomers are also responsible for the drop in the popularity of single-family homes in favor of apartment living, according to a recent white paper written by John Rappaport, a senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Rappaport writes that major cities must start planning for more multifamily properties, and related amenities such as medical properties, to handle this wave.

“The projected shift from single-family to multifamily living will likely have many large, long-lasting effects on the U.S. economy,” Rappaport said in the report. “The aging of the U.S. population will put further downward pressure on single-family con­struction but offsetting upward pressure on multifamily construction…The longer term outlook is especially positive for multifamily construction, reflecting the aging of the baby boomers.”

Comments are closed.