Realtors Pinpoint Top 10 Housing Markets for Baby Boomers

As the baby boomer generation approaches retirement, many will consider the prospect of relocating. But whether that decision is fueled by warmer climates, affordability or greater job opportunities for older adults, new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows which markets may attract the most boomers in the coming years.

NAR analyzed current population trends, housing affordability and local economic conditions in metropolitan areas across the U.S. to determine housing markets most likely to see a boost in sales from boomers.

Areas at the top of the list are primarily those with a lower cost of living and sunnier weather—optimal locations for baby boomers to purchase homes as they delay retirement and remain as participants in the workforce, according to the NAR analysis.


“A broadly improving economy and rebounding home prices are giving baby boomers the opportunity to sell and move to support their retirement lifestyles,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a written statement. “Furthermore, our research identified cities movers are gravitating to while still remaining in the workforce as a business owner.”

The two standout markets positioned to see an influx of boomer homebuyers, thanks to favorable cost of living, housing affordability and inventory availability, include Boise, Idaho and Raleigh, North Carolina.

In the Boise City-Nampa, Ida. metro area, the share of baby boomer movers to movers of any age (between 2011-2013) is 7.85%, according to NAR data on the top markets. The area also had one of the highest housing inventory changes as supply grew 12.7% year-over-year in September 2014.


The Raleigh-Cary metro, on the other hand, reported the highest rating than any other market on NAR’s Housing Affordability Index at 206. The national average of the 100 metropolitan areas tracked by NAR was 198.46. 

Other notable housing markets for boomers included three Florida metro areas (Fort Myers, Orlando, Sarasota); two markets in Arizona (Phoenix, Tucson); Albuquerque, New Mexico; Greenville, South Carolina; and Denver. 

Similarly, markets like Dallas; Tampa, Fla.; and Riverside, Calif. also signal strong potential for attracting baby boomers, particularly because of their housing affordability, lower tax rates and welcoming business environment.

“With baby boomers working later in life, these factors will likely play as much of a deciding role of where boomers eventually retire as will areas with a warm climate or variety of outdoor activities,” Yun said. 

Written by Jason Oliva