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PROFILE OF ACTIVE ADULT AND THE 50+ HOUSING MARKET

'ACTIVE ADULT COMMUNITIES'                               

They're called “active adult” communities, and they're one of the hottest parts of the Charlotte area housing market. Some carry age restrictions, others don't. But they're all designed for buyers 55 and older who are ready to downsize their home but not their lifestyle. Prices often range from $200,000 to $500,000.

Typical features:

Homes usually are on one floor, or at least have the master suite, laundry room and main living spaces on the first floor.

Exterior maintenance is often covered by owners' fees.

Amenities include recreational facilities – pools, tennis courts and walking trails.

PROFILE OF THE 50+ HOUSING MARKET

It might seem as if a larger proportion of active adults – those 55 and older – are downsizing to condos and patio homes, but the numbers say otherwise. Just 5 percent of the folks in that age group move each year, according to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, and that's held steady for a decade.

Here's more from the study, “Profile of the 50+ Housing Market,” by the association's 50+ Housing Council:

Half of all movers 55 and older stay in the same county.

Second homes are more prevalent among older households. Sixteen percent of 55- to 64-year-old households own second homes, the peak ownership.

Three years ago, 350,360 households were in age-restricted or “age-qualified” communities, while about 897,000 were in “other” communities designed to appeal to active adults.

In order from most important, age-qualified buyers rank their preferences this way: recreational facilities, open space within a half block, services provided, gated community, water within a half block, waterfront home.

Design matters. More of those 55 to 64 years old rank design (33 percent) higher than proximity to family and friends (22percent).

These buyers shop multiple neighborhoods and look at more than 10 homes on average.

The median price in age-qualified neighborhoods is $330,000; in “other” active adult communities, the median price is $300,000.

SOURCE: Profile of the 50+ Housing Market, by the NAHB's 50+ Housing Council

Also see www.Carolina55andBetter.com

Published Saturday, April 26, 2008 5:16 PM by Angie Adams NC/SC REALTOR® Broker

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