What happens after the Baby Boomers?

What happens after the Baby Boomers? There is an awful lot of discussion about the impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the impact that they are and will continue to have on the real estate market. I noted it here a little while ago. The CharlAlbemarle area has very little housing that is suitable (mostly single-level living, Universal Design, (and here) conveniently located near efficient public transport) for the 55+ crowd. One of the only single-family developments (condos excluded) designed for retiring baby boomers is at least 20 minutes north of the City – with no public transportation at all.

All housing has a life-cycle. Look at the older, tree-lined streets in the City and the urban ring. Many of these neighborhoods are experiencing turnover for the first time in at least thirty years. While the houses may not suit today’s lifestyles – open floorplans and kitchens, master suites, at least 2300 finished square feet – they have that other major criterion – Location. 

What will the landscape look like in thirty or forty years when these now new developments (I am reluctant to call some of these new incarnations “neighborhoods” just yet) start to experience their own turnover? Who will buy these houses?

The current trend for Gens X and Y is toward smaller, smarter spaces rather than large, sprawling McMansions plopped into a field somewhere. This seems to me to be two incompatible trends poised to collide at some point.

A Rismedia story noted:

Three out of five (baby boomers) say their idea of the perfect location to retire is in a rural area or small town, with only 12 percent saying an urban or city setting, and nearly half would consider living in an age-restricted community; 38 percent want to be close to family.

If money were no object, access to quality health care is important to more Boomers than being on a golf course (38 percent vs. 4 percent). Ideally, they would like to live in a rural area with access to quality health care. “One question is how many areas actually offer those kinds of amenities in that kind of environment,” Stevens said.

CharlAlbemarle has the health care, the quality environment, the dynamic lifestyle … and golf courses. For how long?

Note: this post was partially inspired by an excellent post at Matrix. 

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  1. Ray Hyde May 24, 2006 at 09:22

    An excellent post. I’m glad to see that someone is thinking about this stuff without clouding their thoughts with pre-defined ideologies about how people “should” live.

  2. Pingback: Baby Boomers and Charlottesville – What’s Next? | RealCentralVA.com