Analyst Report: Active Adult Communities A Favorite Choice of Baby Boomers

A majority of baby boomers “prefer to improve their dynamic lifestyle” in retirement with a move into an active adult community, according to a new Global Industry Analyst report on Adult and Retirement Communities.

“Active adult communities are analogous to Disneyland for the adults, or in other words, an amusement park that provides a huge range of entertaining activities at all times for people aged above 55 years,” says the report. “A majority of homes in the active adult communities are specially engineered to provide entertainment; guest rooms are ideal for grandchildren to visit on weekends; and workspace for the elderly people that desire to initiate a new hobby or career.”

This closely echoes what Margaret Wylde, president and CEO of market research company ProMatura, has said about the need to market “lifestyle” over “care.” Many younger seniors are looking to move into communities as part of a lifestyle choice, and not because they need to, she says.

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Adult and retirement communities remain a “niche industry” within the housing sector in the U.S., and demographic changes, increasing life expectancy, escalating costs of providing care, and the growing number of older adults opting for professional care are expected to drive market growth in coming years, according to the Global Industry Analyst report.

In 2011, there were 13,589 independent living and assisted living communities, and 11,070 CCRCs in the U.S., according to report data, and the assisted living sector is expected to witness stabilized growth in terms of new units in the coming years.

In addition to the emergence of active adult communities, Global Industry Analysts examines other trends such as favorable market demographics, the evolution and adaptation of retirement communities to meet the current population’s needs, and the influence of real estate investment trusts (REITs) on senior housing sales.

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Another sector expected to witness substantial growth is the one pertaining to memory care, which has the potential “to generate extra revenue and continue to grow in the upcoming years.”

Independent living is expected to have slow growth. CCRCs are expected to witness steady growth in terms of occupancy rates and new units, backed by “strong demand” and the popularity of the lifestyle these communities offer.

The full Global Adult and Retirement Communities Industry report can be accessed here.

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Written by Alyssa Gerace