A recent survey by MKM Partners Quantitative Survey Group, commissioned by Del Webb, found that that a majority of younger baby boomers and older Generation X-ers aren’t planning to downsize with their next move.
Of the 57 percent of survey respondents who plan to move in the future, 65 percent prefer their next home to be either the same size (43 percent) or larger (22 percent) than their current home.
A clear majority (71 percent) expects to need more space in their next home, and they prefer a single-family home; 63 percent say they want three or more bedrooms. For Gen X-ers, more space is not so much a luxury but a necessity: 29 percent of the 50-year-olds surveyed said they would design their next home to accommodate aging parents.
“Rather than staying put, today’s 50- and 60-year-olds are thinking ahead to their next big move,” says Jay Mason, vice president of market intelligence for PulteGroup, which owns the Del Webb brand. “While millennials seem to make the headlines, there are over 140 million Generation X and baby boomers in the United States, many with the means, confidence and desire to stay active in the housing market.”
Contrary to some other forecasts, these older adults aren’t seeking urban locations. A significant percentage of those surveyed want to stay away from the city, with 87 percent preferring a suburban or rural setting. When asked for a preference, 60 percent said they wanted their next home to be a “quiet, tranquil place where they can slow down and get some peace.”
“There has been an increased focus on where people want to move as they near retirement, and if city living would become the preferred choice,” says Mason. “Data from our most recent survey clearly indicates that true urban living appeals to only a limited number of future retirees and that, regardless of generation, both Gen X-ers and baby boomers nearing retirement are looking for a different quality of life when considering their next move.”
Inside the home, most respondents still prefer open floor plans, but a shift toward a more traditional layout may be brewing: 34 percent said they prefer more defined space to open concepts, and 60 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of baby boomers still want a dedicated dining room in their next home.
“To maintain our position as the industry leader in developing communities for active adults age 55 and older, we have been surveying this demographic for more than 20 years,” said Mason. “This is our first survey directly comparing responses of younger boomers and the front of the upcoming Gen X generation, and its results reveal a number of similarities between these two demographics.”
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