Economy impacts Baby Boomers decisions, but they still betting on real estate

Nice coverage of Kris Vogt’s column in the Mountain Democrat newspaper! Here’s his article on what baby boomers want in real estate.

The turbulent economy has certainly had an impact on just about everyone, but perhaps no one more than baby boomers. Boomers are either nearing the end of their careers or already entering retirement. And while the recession forced some boomers to make adjustments to their budgets and investments, a new national survey shows that they are not giving up on their dreams of home ownership, especially vacation homes and investment properties.

A new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate finds that 87 percent of more than 1,300 agents and brokers polled agree that the economy is delaying baby boomers’ plans to sell their homes. That said, the desire to purchase and own a home, or more than one home, remains strong in this demographic group, especially so in the investment and vacation home market segment.

Nearly nine in 10 respondents said they have baby boomer clients who already own or are looking to own an investment property or second home, including 22 percent of agents who report that at least half of their boomer clients either own or are trying to purchase such properties.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate conducted an online survey among 1,333 Coldwell Banker real estate professionals across the United States about housings trends for baby boomers. The survey was conducted in early September.

The hopes, dreams and investment plans of boomers is critical because the baby boomer generation has driven the U.S. economy in general — and the housing market in particular — for many years. And like many Americans, boomers may be anxious about their next real estate decision.

Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, said that baby boomers are a very diverse group and cannot be described in generalities. But he added that the survey clearly indicates that “those boomers who are financially secure are actively seeking to buy their retirement home, or a vacation home, and they are taking advantage of the opportunities and value available in today’s market.”

The survey also underscored that by dividing boomers, who account for 79 million Americans, into two age categories, a more dynamic picture of the real estate market emerges. The younger boomers are ages 47-55 and the older boomers are 56-64. Among the additional findings from the survey:

  • Second or Vacation homes: More than one-third of agents say younger baby boomers are interested in purchasing a second home while 22 percent say older boomers are interested;
  • Moving up: 31 percent of respondents say that younger baby boomer clients are selling their current home and looking for a larger home compared to 6 percent who say older baby boomers want a larger home;
  • Downsizing: 80 percent of agents say that older baby boomers are more likely to want to downsize than younger baby boomers (52 percent);
  • Economic impact: The reason for downsizing is not only about saving money in a tough economy. Some 49 percent of agents say the primary reason boomers want to downsize is a simpler lifestyle, while 28 percent said it’s to save money;
  • Single-family home: Younger baby boomers are much more likely to prefer a single-family home than older baby boomers (82 vs. 47 percent of agents agree);
  • Other options: For the older baby boomers, about half of the agents say they are looking for a townhouse or condo while 27 percent of agents say older boomer clients prefer an active adult community.

For baby boomers, younger or older, deciding on the next step in real estate can be a difficult one. Whether you are interested in selling your home and moving elsewhere, buying that dream vacation property or purchasing investment real estate, the best place to start is with a professional Realtor. They can offer you time-tested guidance on the best move and help you realize your homeownership dreams no matter what they are.

Kris Vogt, president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Sacramento/Tahoe, provides the above tips. A Sacramento area real estate veteran with nearly 20 years of experience, Kris oversees a talented team of 700 real estate professionals in 14 offices serving the Sacramento/Tahoe area.  For more information contact Coldwell Banker at 916-684-8180.


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