A Wall Street Journal blog recently forecast that baby boomers in Canada will move into condos and multifamily residences and out of single-family homes in coming years. http://on.wsj.com/18NpEiA
The forecast was based on a Conference Board of Canada report, which suggested that the value of larger single-family homes in Canada might be hurt as a result of the exodus.
I believe US baby boomers are probably in sync with their Canadian neighbors in a desire for the lower maintenance and greater freedom that a multifamily complex offers.
But I think the boomer effect in the US may have a positive impact – easing the housing shortage as more homes are put on the market.
The single-family homes that boomers have lived in for years are too large, requiring too much upkeep, or too far away from relatives or preferred activities. Boomers will be downsizing or moving nearer family or their interests.
The blog says Canadian boomers account for about 30% of the housing market. In the US, I think they account for at least that much – and possibly closer to 40%.
Those are a lot of single-family homes that may go on the market. As they do, inventory will certainly increase.
Still, I don’t see a mass exodus from these existing homes. Boomers are continuing to work longer. The median retirement age is currently 70, but that will surely increase.
Nonetheless, these homes are coming on the market and should feed inventory for the next decade. Also, new construction is ramping up and will continue for the next several years.
The really great thing about boomer homes is that many are in the older, more central neighborhoods, especially in Austin.
Younger families covet these areas because they offer so many amenities: closer to work, closer to play, closer to the cultural and entertainment attractions that young families love.
These spaces don’t represent just work or home solely, but blend both – cutting commute time and allowing for more leisure time and work productivity.
In the short term, inventory seems to be stuck in a deficit. But that won’t last.
Be proactive and be aware. You can find your Austin home. http://bit.ly/ZzCRp2