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50+ consumer sentiment appears to be on the rise, according to the latest consumer survey conducted by ProMatura Group, a nationally recognized market research firm focusing on the 50+ consumer.
The findings were discussed during a recent webinar, “2010 What 50+ Consumers Want: New Research to Help You Understand Your Target Market,” hosted by NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council.
Margaret Wylde and two members of her ProMatura staff presented the 50+ consumers’ outlook, based on two surveys of more than 1,400 50+ households and a comparison of results from September 2009 and May 2010.
The study looked at 50+ consumers’ desire to move over the next three years, the challenges of selling a current home and the overall perception of the 50+ housing market from the consumer’s point of view.
According to the survey, 50+ respondents who would be interested in buying a home in the next few years increased slightly, and the likelihood of this decision also increased from September to May — indicating that consumers are feeling more optimistic about the market and making a move in the near future.
The results also indicated that 50+ consumers shopping for a new home are seldom looking for a new one more than 18 months in advance.
In addition, nearly a third — 30% of those surveyed — were unlikely to purchase a home without an incentive.
“The proportion of people who are likely to move to a 50+ community depends on how you position the community and your age qualifications,” Wylde said. “It’s important to know what’s going on in your market and how the product you build affects your market share.”
Seventy percent of the respondents sold their homes before they moved, while 15% sold after moving, and it took an average of five months to sell a home in May, an increase from the three-month average to sell a home in September.
Respondents to the May 2010 survey also were in a better position to profit from a home sale, compared to seven months ago, when 50+ consumers were taking on more debt to purchase the new home even after selling their current home.
50+ primary home purchases have risen by 5% and second home purchases have declined, according to the surveys, but Wylde said there were indications that potential buyers investing in a secondary home is on the rise. While potential purchasers are not overly optimistic about conditions in the market today, she said they are not as pessimistic as they used to be.
“You must know your market conditions and match your product and pricing to what they want and are willing to pay,” Wylde said.
In both the September and May surveys, respondents were asked to rate the overall market. In the May 2010 survey, a higher proportion rated the market as good and a smaller proportion felt the market was poor, compared to the September 2009 survey.
Consumers are understandably more cautious as the market recovers, but this recent study shows that that there is still a demand for 50+ housing. Matching the product to the consumer, with the right incentives for the right price is crucial to continued success.
“Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market,” available through NAHB BuilderBooks, will help determine the right design, home features and amenities to attract boomer home buyers in your market.
Author Margaret A. Wylde guides readers through the latest survey results on this important consumer group and explains what their responses mean for today’s and tomorrow’s home building industry.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.