The Plus Side of 55+ | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

The Plus Side of 55+

It is time to get serious about listening to consumers and designing for the aging Baby Boomer population—the largest share of home shoppers today—who are looking for their next home opportunity as their children leave the nest and they consider retirement.

42% of the 22,000 home shoppers who took our 2014 Consumer Insights survey are 55+ and shared with us that:

  • Home design will make them move (it is the third-most-important motivator for moving after location and price), but 55% say they can’t find what they are looking for.
  • 43% want to downsize, with most wanting 1,500–1,999 square feet.
  • Among those without children:
    • 46% want to live in a community that is more multigenerational
    • 33% want an age-restricted community
    • 21% want an age-targeted community

(Preference for age-restricted and age-targeted communities varies widely by geography.)

The opportunities offered by the 55+ population are huge. They represent:

  • 25% of the total population
  • 50%+ of current homeowners (likely with plenty of equity) and have a homeownership rate in excess of 75%
  • 30%+ of total home transactions

All of these rates are only getting bigger.


The challenge is that the 55+ homeowner population tends to stay in place—less than 3% move per year, although it is higher for the younger portion of this cohort. Great design will make them move.

Chris Porter If you have any questions, please contact Chris Porter at (949) 870-1218 or by email.