Every year we dust off our crystal ball and try to think about what’s ahead for retirees in the year ahead. But before we do that, here are a few observations about 2010, the year that is just about to end:
– Housing prices stabilized in most markets in 2010, and even started to increase slightly in many cities and towns. The free fall in prices that came in 2008 and 2009 has mostly stopped. Although median home prices slipped in the first quarter according to the National Association of Realtors, they increased from a median of $170,300 in the first quarter to $177,900 by the third quarter. All 4 major regions of the country saw price increases.
– 2010 showed more life in the active adult community market than we saw in 2009. Based on our small world, we had much more interest from developers in advertising on our website than there was in 2009. The number of clients with Top and Showcase Listings more than doubled in 2010, which we interpret as meaning that there a lot more developments that are selling enough to justify a marketing budget.
Our Predictions for 2011
Here are some predictions for 2011, the year in which the oldest baby boomers (born in 1946) turn 65. Note that we are not economists, just readers of tea leaves:
– The financial recovery will keep coming, but slower than most folks would hope for. The solid holiday sales reports from this season is encouraging
– Home prices will rise slowly as the pace of foreclosures relents and inventory adjusts. Lots of ifs associated with this prediction – particularly what will happen if foreclosure rate were to intensify
– Financial woes will afflict millions of older baby boomers – delaying their retirements, and readjusting their plans and expectations
– The financial troubles of the States will continue, causing further exodus from the northeast and rustbelt
– Home Owner Associations will continue to struggle with delinquencies, making buying into and selling from many communities a dicey proposition
– Some active communities will fail before they are fully built and/or sold out
– It might be a good time to buy into an active community or retirement town in 2011 – IF you are selective, do your due diligence, and are patient. The deals will be there for the careful buyer. On the other hand, there are many communities in which it would not be wise to buy.
What do you think is going to happen in 2011? Please share your predictions and observations in the Comments section below.