A recent survey by Del Webb of men and women aged 50 and 60 finds that younger baby boomers and older Generation X are not planning to downsize with their next move.
According to the survey, of the 57% of respondents who say they plan to move in the future, 65% prefer their next home to be either the same size (43%) or larger (22%) than their current home. The expectation of needing more space in their next home can also be seen in the clear majority (71%) of respondents planning to move who prefer a single-family home and those indicating they want three or more bedrooms (63%).
For Gen Xers, more space is not so much a luxury, but a necessity, as 29% of the 50-year olds surveyed said they would design their next home to accommodate their aging parents.
“Rather than staying put, today’s 50- and 60-year olds are thinking ahead to their next big move,” said Jay Mason, vice president of market intelligence for PulteGroup. “While millennials seem to make the headlines, there are over 140 million Generation X and baby boomers in the United States, many with the means, confidence and desire to stay active in the housing market.”
Contrary to other forecasts, those surveyed are not seeking urban locations. Rather, an overwhelming percentage of those surveyed who plan to make a move want to stay away from the city, with 87% preferring a suburban or rural setting for their next home. When asked for their preference, 60% noted they wanted their next home to be a “quiet, tranquil place where they can slow down and get some peace.”
“There has been an increased focus on where people want to move as they near retirement and if city living would become the preferred choice,” said Mason. “Data from our most recent survey clearly indicates that true urban living appeals to only a limited number of future retirees and that regardless of generation, both Gen Xers and baby boomers nearing retirement are looking for a different quality of life when considering their next move.”
Inside the home, the majority of respondents still prefer open floor plans, but some shifts toward a more traditional layout may be brewing. For example, 34% of respondents said they prefer more defined space to open concepts, and 60% of Gen Xers and 48% of baby boomers say they still want a dedicated dining room in their next home.
“To maintain our position as the industry leader in developing communities for active adults age 55 and older, we have been surveying this demographic for more than 20 years,” said Mason. “This is our first survey directly comparing responses of younger boomers and the front of the upcoming Gen X generation, and its results reveal a number of similarities between these two demographics.”
The survey was conducted in January 2019 by MKM Partners Quantitative Survey Group, on behalf of PulteGroup, targeting a balanced mix of 2,003 women (52%) and men (48%) across the U.S. and between the ages of 49-51 and 59-61 to quantify key insights, lifestyle trends and opinions about working, retirement, family/friends and other aspects of their lives.