Coldwell Banker survey: Retirement communities may benefit from silver lining in economic downturnMortgagePress.comColdwell Banker, economic conditions, Jim Gillespie
According to a recent national survey of Coldwell Banker real
estate professionals, over half of those who work in popular
retirement areas are seeing younger retirees (ages 60 and under)
looking to purchase homes in their markets.
Furthermore, 43 percent of all the sales associates and brokers
surveyed believe market and economic conditions may cause an
increase in demand for retiree homes in their areas throughout the
"Over the past couple of years, home prices have declined
significantly in the majority of markets with traditional appeal to
retirees," said Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive
officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. "Younger retirees are
taking advantage of these desirable prices and turning the economic
downturn into an opportunity."
While the survey indicates that this is emerging trend across
the country, driving factors seem to vary regionally. For example,
anecdotal feedback from Coldwell Banker real estate professionals
in South Florida finds pre-retirees taking real estate-related
steps now to support longer-term goals. "Many individuals not yet
ready to retire are purchasing these homes and leasing them until
they are prepared to move permanently," said Elaine Harari of
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Bay Harbor Islands,
In desirable areas with low property taxes, such as northeast
Arkansas, it's more common for younger retirees to move from more
expensive cities; some even taking jobs for which they can
telecommute to save money. Additionally, Coldwell Banker
professionals in Michigan note that some retirement communities are
experiencing an influx of former automobile company employees who
have received early retirement packages.
Andrew Briele, president of Coldwell Banker First Affiliate in
Sedona, Ariz. reports a recent increase in sales volume. "Lifestyle
is certainly the reason why so many choose to move to Sedona. We
have 360 days of sunshine. With the 30 percent price corrections we
have experienced, many individuals who are at or near retirement
are realizing this is a great opportunity for them. Some buyers who
have lost their jobs, taken retirement packages or sold their
businesses are moving up their plans for retirement and taking
advantage of the low mortgage rates and home prices. Others, who
are already here, are moving up."
The Coldwell Banker real estate professionals surveyed offered
their perspectives on the top reasons retirees are buying or
selling homes, and 33 percent said the No. 1 reason retirees are
moving right now is to live closer to their families.
Interestingly, 12 percent cited improvements in housing conditions,
such as buyer-friendly home prices and interest rates, as the key
Other results from the overall survey include:
• 53 percent of Coldwell Banker real estate professionals
have observed an increase in retirees who plan to downsize from
their primary residences into smaller properties.
• 37 percent are seeing an increased number of retirees
who own more than one property sell their primary residences to
move to their secondary homes.
• 23 percent are seeing more people buy different homes
for retirement, or move into their previously purchased retirement
properties earlier than expected.
Methodology: Coldwell Banker conducted an online survey on
trends regarding retirement-aged home buyers in March 2009. The
survey yielded responses from 1,475 Coldwell Banker real estate
professionals across the United States, including 423 agents and
brokers in communities typically described as "havens for
For more information, visit www.coldwellbanker.com.