Where are baby boomers hoping to go? According to TopRetirements.com ninth annual 100 best places to retire, most boomers will head to the Sunbelt. A total of 78 of the top 100 are Sunbelt towns, although 25 are concentrated in Florida. Topping the list of this year’s “Where Baby Boomers Go to Find Their Best Place to Retire” is Asheville, North Carolina followed by Sarasota and Venice, Florida. The method of compiling the list is based purely on the popularity of towns searched for on TopRetirements.com, rather than an analysis based on home sales or editorial opinion.
But that doesn’t mean these towns are only lukewarm housing markets. The top 50 from this year’s list closed 26,508 new homes last year according to Metrostudy, and despite a slight dip in new home sales compared to 27,216 in 2013, most of the 50 towns are experiencing steady year-over-year climbs in sales. A total of 5,374 new home sales have been recorded so far for the first-quarter of 2015. TopRetirements.com’s list also excludes active adult communities like The Villages, which would make the top 10 and add thousands of yearly sales if included.
Excluding those active adult communities and looking specifically at the top 50 towns and not the surrounding market, which builders are moving the most the new homes in 2015’s retirement magnets? The usual suspects DR Horton, Pulte Group, and Lennar are the top three for most closings last year. The top 5 (shown below) made up 33.1% of the market share by closings in 2014 for all 50 towns, while the top 15 made up 47.9% of the market share. These 15 builders leading in this year’s retirement magnets are running nearly half of new home sales, but not without room to grow.