People age 55 and over, who as a group have taken the hardest hit to their net worth in the slumping economy, are waiting out the recession. When they return as homebuyers, they will not be looking for the same kind of house they would have been a year ago, say housing experts.
The value of baby boomers’ homes currently is equivalent to 2003 prices. That has softened the formerly solid baby-boomer and senior market and has homebuilders scrambling to figure out what boomers and seniors will want and how to deliver it. That market’s numbers are significant: More than 100,000 U.S. households are headed by a person 55 years old or older, accounting for 11% of all households, says the U.S. Census Bureau. Currently, 30% of buyers of custom homes are 55-plus.