Businesses catering to the demands of 55+ homeowners may have more options when considering their location, as the increasing population of 55+ Americans is now distributed fairly evenly across the 50 states and is a “radically different” customer compared to previous generations.
Nearly 38% of American households are headed by someone age 55 or over, and that number is only expected to increase over the next seven years when this age demographic will account for 45% of U.S. households, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Contrary to popular belief, the 43.9 million households headed by someone 55+ are not all concentrated in one region of the country, says NAHB, finding that 97% of U.S. counties have a 55+ household share over 30%.
This could be beneficial news for businesses in the senior housing industry.
“As more baby boomers approach retirement and the average age of the U.S. population increases, many businesses—including home builders—are showing increased interest in designing products that appeal to customers 55 and older,” said Paul Emrath, NAHB’s vice president of survey and housing policy research. “This research shows that 55+ developments should be possible in every state where population density is sufficient to support new communities of a size that can provide a variety of attractive amenities.”
Leading the country with 45% of households headed by someone 55+, West Virginia is ranked highest and is closely followed by Florida, Hawaii and Maine. Opposite of the leaders are Utah and Alaska as the only states with less than 30% of homeowners in the 55+ category.
The study is additionally broken down by counties where 77% of households are lead by someone 55+, with Mineral County, Colo. and Sumter County, Fla. leading the way, according to NAHB.
“The demographic that 55+ builders and developers are focused on is the largest growing group of buyers that we have ever seen in this age group, and it continues to grow,” said NAHB 50+ Housing Council Chairman W. Don Whyte. “It is also a group that is radically different from what it was only a few years ago. The customers are fitter, more computer savvy and plan to live an entirely different lifestyle from what they might have thought previously, or what we would have aimed at providing for them. Builders and developers in the 55+ housing industry have a unique opportunity to create communities that address the specific needs of the baby boomer population.”
View the full study here.
Written by Erin Hegarty