Most 55+ households do not live in age-qualified communities (active adult housing accounted for just one million of the 39 million 55+ U.S. households in 2007). Nevertheless, a quarter of all homeowners 55 and over have gravitated toward their peers and live in communities where the majority of neighbors are the same age—even if on a de facto basis—according to a new report issued by the NAHB in partnership with the MetLife Mature Market Institute

What’s more, active adults’ share of the market is growing. The number of 55+ households choosing to live in an age-qualified community grew from 2 percent in 2003 to 3 percent in 2007, according to Census data. Nearly 20 percent of those now living in age-qualified active adult communities are under age 60. 

In 2007, roughly half of buyers of new age-qualified homes needed to take out a mortgage. More than 90 percent of buyers who made a down payment reported that it came from the sale of a previous home.