14 July 2008

New stats on the Age-Segregated housing market

The "Profile of the 50+ Housing Market" issued by the 50+ Building Council of the National Association of Home Builders includes statistics on everything from median income to average number of bathrooms.

Here are some highlights:

• The median income of households headed by someone age 55 to 64 is $53,000, meaning half of the 55-64 households earn more than $53,000, and half earn less. Judging by median income, households age 55-64 have been the highest earning group in the U.S since 1995.

• Since 1989, the net worth of all households headed by someone 55 or older has increased substantially, particularly among 55-64 households. Within this age bracket, median net worth grew from a little over $150,000 to $250,000 in just three years, from 2001 to 2004.

• At 40.4, Pennsylvania has the fourth-highest percentage of households 55 and older, behind West Virginia, Florida and Hawaii.

• Just under 1 million of the 26 million 55-plus households in the U.S. in 2005 lived in age-qualified, active-adult housing.

• Nearly half of the households in age-qualified, active-adult homes are in the South, compared with only 7.5 percent in the Midwest. The percentage in the Northeast is 19.4.

• More than 72 percent of age-qualified, active-adult communities provide recreational facilities, and 33 percent have open space within half a block. Among newly built communities, however, recreational amenities are nearly ubiquitous. Well over 90 percent of new-home buyers in age-qualified, active-adult neighborhoods report having access to at least one such facility.

• Zero percent of age-qualified, active-adult residents rate their communities below 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. Sixty-seven percent rate them at 9 or 10, in contrast to only about 52 percent of 55-plus households in general.

• Why people chose an age-qualified active-adult community: 45 percent for the design/looks of it; 24.8 percent to be close to friends/relatives; 22.3 percent to be near leisure activities; and 21.6 percent for the housing unit itself.

About $7.3 billion was spent in 2007 for housing built in age-qualified, active-adult communities, 6 percent of the new construction projected for households headed by someone 55 or older.

• The majority of houses in such neighborhoods have two bedrooms and two baths, and the median size of a new unit is 1,906 square feet.

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