Affordability Top of Mind for Current Active Adult Residents

Many current active adult residents are seemingly satisfied with their living experience, and hold affordability among their top desires. 

That’s according to a new research report by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) and ProMatura Group. The report, released Tuesday, is based on responses from 873 older adults currently living in rental active adult communities, and details their preferences, needs and wants, among other details.

The average age of respondents in the survey was 76, far younger than the average senior living age of 84. A total of 62% of respondents had an annual income between $25,000 and $75,000, while only 10% had an annual income of $100,000 or more.


About three-quarters of the survey’s respondents said they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their quality of life living in an active adult community.

Middle-market rates for senior living remains a key issue for the industry to grapple with, as evidenced by the fact that pricing and affordability were the most mentioned priorities for respondents, followed by safety and location.

According to NIC data, the average rent for active adult units in 2023 was $2,199 per month, with monthly fees of $1,581. That is far lower than rates often seen in independent living, but active adult communities do not “appear to be poaching large numbers from more traditional senior living communities,” said ProMatura Group Vice President of Market Research Kristen Paris.


“While respondents said they were very happy with the lifestyle offered at their active adult communities, should their health status change, more indicated they would move to a senior living community that offered services rather than remain in their communities with home health care,” Paris said in a press release.

Just 18% of residents said they looked at independent living before moving into active adult.

Socialization was also important to respondents living in active adult communities, with 71% of respondents noting they viewed themselves as sociable and 59% used social media platforms. Additionally, 62% said they believed they would have a safety net in place.

Regarding health status, 83% of residents reported being in “excellent, very good, or good health,” while 31% reported limitations due to impairment and 36% had used an assistive device.

In terms of consumer preferences in choosing a community, 30% of respondents looked for apartments with no minimum age requirement or restrictions, 26% only visited one community, and 21% considered for-sale communities. Decisions to move in took about one year, according to 75% of residents that moved in within 12 months.

A total of 28% of residents said they found their community online, while one percent reported using paid referral services. “Location was the top reason respondents said they chose their community at 18 percent. Fifteen percent said affordability, and 11 percent said the apartment floor plan was the deciding factor for selecting their community,” the report reads.

The most common unit type was a one-bedroom, one-bathroom with an average of 740 square feet. Important amenities included a multi-purpose room, fitness center, library, media room, studio, business center, dog park, swimming pool, gardening area, walking trails, commercial kitchens, and a salon space.

As in independent living communities, active adult rentals offer broad amenity structures and social activities, but unlike independent living, active adult communities do not typically offer meal plans but still provide certain hospitality-related services. This is geared as a lifestyle to “appeal to the younger baby boomers,” the report said.

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