Spanning the ages of 53 to 71, Baby Boomers comprise the nation’s second largest demographic of homebuyers. As a share of the overall homebuying market, Boomers are on the rise – and developers are prepared to meet the demand.
A 2016 Metrostudy estimates that 2/3 of the nation’s home equity is held by the Boomer generation, and 42% (or 32 million) are planning to move.* As their kids leave the nest and they welcome retirement, Boomers are often poised for their next adventure. They represent a market segment that is more prone to pay cash – and those that don’t tend to make larger down payments than younger households. As such, Baby Boomers are an attractive opportunity for home builders.
The demand, however, is not driven by those seeking your typical retirement home. In fact, Boomers do not view themselves as growing “old.” Instead, they are searching for the means to an active and social lifestyle – one that is both accessible and robust. Developers are listening, and they are capturing the market with a surge in communities targeting “active adults.”
TILTPIXEL artists are increasingly being tapped for renderings that showcase the countless amenities available to active adults. Developers such as Greystar are eager to highlight features such as yoga studios, hair salons, bocce courts and even dog parks. With photorealistic renderings and virtual reality, prospective owners can visualize a life that is both easy and engaging.
As more developers enter the mix, the market is growing increasingly competitive. Some developments cater to a more leisurely, suburban lifestyle (think fishing piers and hiking trails), while others focus on urban recreation, with a heavy emphasis on walkability to restaurants, parks and theaters. And while location is always important, amenities and services can set a community apart. Greystar’s Overture Tanglewood residence, for example, will offer activities such as happy hours, wine tastings, cooking classes and personal trainers.
When it comes to real estate marketing, virtual reality (VR) is not just a toy for millennials. It is proving to be a powerful tool for an aging population. Not only does VR assist prospective buyers in visualizing a new lifestyle, it can aid architects and homebuyers in design decisions.
As a demographic, Boomers and even the elderly are increasingly open to virtual experiences. Rendever is an MIT startup that provides assisted living facilities with a virtual reality platform for residents. Seniors can experience exotic destinations or visit their childhood homes. VR even sparks cognitive therapy and can record data that may assist in the early diagnosis of dementia. While these applications dwell far from the world of homebuying, it is this eagerness of an aging population to adopt VR technology that should pique the interest of developers. Virtual reality, like photorealistic renderings, can be a powerful tool in the buying process.
Click here to view more TILTPIXEL renderings and experience the virtual tour of Greystar’s Overture Mueller community.