September 24, 2021 — Retirement is a modern concept. Not that long ago you worked until you dropped, or couldn’t do the job. The invention of pensions changed that for many people. Then, when Social Security started paying benefits in 1937, retirement became possible for almost everyone.
Until recently, once you retired you lived where you always did, moved in with your children, or, when you could no longer take care of yourself, transitioned to an old folks or nursing home. The landscape changed mightily in 1960 when Sun City opened with its active adult lifestyle and extensive amenities. Suddenly the idea of having fun in retirement became popular, and ever since people have been figuring out new ways to enjoy retirement.
Co-housing, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, and 55+ communities all have their devotees. But most of the innovation has come from the retirement industry, whose retirement offerings are geared to put money in their coffers when you buy into their dream.
August 13, 2021 — The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose in 99% of metro areas in the second quarter of 2021 compared to one year ago. And those increases were not small – there were double-digit price gains in 94% of markets measured by the NAR. Continued low levels of housing inventory, combined with record-low mortgage rates, have caused an increase in median sales prices for existing single-family homes in all but one of 183 measured markets during the second quarter of 2021. That is according to the National Association of Realtors®’ latest quarterly report.
The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose 22.9% to $357,900, an increase of $66,800 from one year ago. All regions saw double-digit year-over-year price growth, which was led by the Northeast (21.8%), followed by the South (21.0%), West (20.9%), and Midwest (17.1%). Three of the hottest markets in the country showed price gains of more than 40% year over year: Austin (TX), Boise (ID), and Naples/Marco (FL).
“Home price gains and the accompanying housing wealth accumulation have been spectacular over the past year, but are unlikely to be repeated in 2022,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
July 3, 2021 — Existing home prices hit a record high in May at a median of $350,000, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A shortage of inventory and building materials, low interest rates, flush and frustrated buyers, and pent-up demand are some of the reasons why. Everyone seems to have a tale to tell in this crazy, red hot market: houses that sell the same day they are listed, multiple competing bids, offers of $100,000 or $200,000 more than the asking price, even huge cash payments to walk away to allow the next buyer in line to get the property. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for April confirmed the rising market, finding that prices rose at their fastest pace ever, an amazing 14.6% year over year.
So what’s next for sellers?
Baby boomers and retirees are more likely to benefit from this hot market than younger people, who are often first time buyers. That is because we usually have something to sell, and our homes are suddenly worth a lot more than they were 18 months ago. So if you are retired or about to retire, this might be the ideal time to step away from your existing home and move to one that is more conducive to your desired retirement lifestyle. You will most likely get top dollar when you sell – but what will your next move be? We were very interested in a new survey by Coldwell Banker conducted among all homeowners (not just retirees). It seemed to indicate that people are using the hot real estate market to dramatically change their living situation. Their survey found that about 20% of homeowners hope to sell their current home in the next year. Of those, about six out of ten plan on relocating to a different city or state. Does that describe you?
April 21, 2021. In most parts of the country a staple of conversation these days is the crazy increase in home prices. A big reason for that, according to Realtor.com, is a shortage of places to buy. The supply of homes for sale in the U.S. during March was down 52% from a year earlier. Another factor is continued interest low rates. The March national median listing price of a home was $370,000, up a whopping 15.6% compared to last year. The typical home spent 54 days on the market this March, which is six days less than last year. Anecdotally, almost everyone we know in Florida who has sold their home this winter sold it in just a few days, often the same day it went on the market!
Oct. 29, 2020 – Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market was at an all-time high in the third quarter, jumping 18 points to 83, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.
The 55+ HMI measures two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each segment of the 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic).
July 29, 2020 — The types of living options available to people of retirement age have expanded tremendously in the last 50 years. But one type that has not changed much is the nursing home, the site of so many coronavirus infections. Sometimes disparagingly referred to as “big box” enterprises because they can be large and impersonal, even nursing homes might be about to experience a sea change, thanks to the combined impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and an aging baby boomer population.
Boomers want to do things their way, and that doesn’t mean being forced into a nursing home if they can help it. But an even longer nail in the coffin for nursing homes might be what the coronavirus does to them. Seeing the deadly germ spread like wildfire through nursing homes and assisted living facilities has made the danger of having a large number of a vulnerable population clustered together all too clear. Stories of residents left to die alone, separated from their loved ones, have been devastating.
December 12, 2019 – Two different companies, The National Association of Realtors® (NAR), and Realtor.com, have each identified markets expected to outperform in the coming years. The lists are quite different, with Realtor.com’s concentrating more on smaller markets.
Both sources believe that affordability and strong local economies are key to markets with strong prospects for the future. Note that very few of these cities are on the coasts, although the overwhelming majority are in warm weather climes.
In alphabetical order, here are the top 10 the NAR expects to outperform over the next three to five years.:
However, don’t stop with just the NAR report. Realtor.com jumped into the topic with its own list. Here are the “hottest” real estate markets they predict for 2020, along with median home prices. Note: many of these are smaller markets. The only overlap we see in the top 10 are Charleston and Colorado Springs.
November 9, 2019 — With so many baby boomers facing retirement with smaller than expected savings, the question of where they can afford to live is a serious question. Recently one of our long-standing Members, Peder, raised the issue of manufactured homes, and in particular, their pitfalls. Somewhat to our amazement we cannot find that we have written about this important topic before, so now seems like a great time to do it.
There can be a lot of confusion around terms like manufactured homes. Code of Federal Regulations, 24 CFR 3280, states that: “Manufactured homes are built as dwelling units of at least 320 square feet in size with a permanent chassis to assure the initial and continued transportability of the home.” They are typically built in a factory and moved as one or more sections to where the homeowner wants it. Their wheel chassis is the key differentiation from other types of homes. They are often referred to less elegantly as “mobile homes” and “trailers“. In the 1950’s ten foot wide models were introduced. Because of this greater width (previous models were 8′ wide), it became harder to transport them and this helped distinguish them from travel trailers and RVs.
They are different than modular homes, also prefabricated and built in factories. Some experts have long predicted that modular construction will eventually replace so called “stick-built” homes because of the efficiencies involved in building homes in a factory setting. It is often difficult to distinguish between a modular home and one built in-situ. Some other variations of modular homes are “pre-cut” or “panelized” homes.
November 6, 2019 — Millennials and GenY and Xers can get a little tired of us baby boomers. Now some experts are seeing yet another problem we seemed to have created. By staying in our homes longer than expected, we are disrupting the housing market. According to research by the real-estate brokerage Redfin, homeowners are staying in their homes 5 years longer than they did in 2010. The typical stay has now lengthened to 13 years. That has led to a tight real estate market with record low inventories of homes for sale.
Many folks expected that by now baby boomers would have downsized, moved to warmer climes, or headed to a 55+ community. That should have led to a big supply of larger homes on the market, to be purchased by younger families wanting to move up. While many of us have moved, more are staying put than predicted. The result is a market disruption. Families that need bigger homes for their growing broods are finding a tight housing market, with fewer homes for sale than expected. The inventory of homes on the market is the lowest in 37 years, according to CoreLogic Inc. Smaller inventories keep prices high. Boomers are affecting the market for smaller homes and condos too. Because inventories are tight in all kinds of markets, there is pressure on both older and younger buyers. Although home equity-rich boomers are more likely to come out on top in any bidding war, they are reluctant to pay high prices for a smaller home.
Oct. 23, 2019 — Many of the 10,000 adults who retire each day are interested in relocating from where they live now. The 55places 2019 National Housing Survey asked nearly 3,000 recent and prospective homebuyers to reveal what’s important when looking for a home, community, and real estate agent, as well as other relevant aspects of the homebuying process. The respondents, 97% of whom were over the age of 55, provided some interesting insights into what drives their relocation preferences.