The 80-million-strong ‘‘echo boomer'' generation is moving out of the house, leading their parents to consider downsizing their living spaces.
For the echo boomers' parents, these active over-55 buyers are looking for open floor plans, high-end appliances, gas fireplaces and community amenities such as a fitness club and a swimming pool. In Massachusetts, more than 150 age-restricted communities totaling 10,000 housing units have been built in recent years or are under construction, according to a recent study by Boston-based Citizens' Housing and Planning Association. And another 14,000 units are proposed.
The boom in the sector prompted the association to warn that projects that are poorly designed or in less desirable locations will be unlikely to succeed. But with 1.9 million Massachusetts baby boomers set to turn 55 between now and 2020, it is predicted that the true impact of the empty-nester phenomenon has yet to be felt.
The South Florida Business Journal reports that affluent Baby Boomers are propelling the luxury housing market.
When Coldwell Banker asked its sales associates which demographic accounts for a large majority of their luxury home sales over the last two years, nearly six in 10 said the driver is people between 40 and 58 years old.
The real estate firm defines a luxury home as having a listing price of at least $500,000, priced within the top 10 percent of its market and "of exceptional style and quality."
The Coldwell Banker Baby Boomer Real Estate Survey shows of recent purchasers, 65 percent of boomers bought larger homes, 17 percent scaled down, while 15 percent were buying a second or vacation home.