Posted by: Suzy N. Klass
Associate Office Properties Group
What is the senior housing market? You read all the time about senior housing, as if that term could describe a monolithic classification. In my experience, we need a new definition of “senior housing”. First of all, we need to push back on housing for people starting at age 55.
These days, that is “middle age” not “senior”! Who is retiring at 55 anymore?
Most baby boomers now plan to work into their 70’s. This includes all levels of workers; white collar office jobs, physicians, and bus drivers. This means that they are staying near employment centers. All those 55+ communities built miles away from downtown on cheaper land? You figure it out.
Baby boomers in the next ten years will be looking for creative places to live. Product that is well-designed, close-in, and has an emphasis on communal living that is outside the usual “clubhouse” approach. You can’t feel close to hundreds of other homeowners in your community. They will want smaller group living situations, close to academic centers, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, etc.
They will be using whatever freed up equity they have to purchase innovative housing. There will always be a need for assisted and memory care. That’s the next stop in the continuum. More on that later.