Courtesy Adobe Stock

Since COVID-19 emerged, older adults, especially individuals in nursing and assisted living homes, had to be very careful with their day-to-day interactions. It compelled many to reexamine how they want to live the rest of their lives. Real estate professionals, industry analysts, and home builders are all tracking their new choices as they relate to relocation and home buying. Forbes contributor Jamie Gold recently highlighted six trends that are impacting the 55+ buyer. See her insights below.

1. Granny Flats Gain Fans
“I think a lot of seniors saw folks who were isolated in senior living facilities, unable to be with their families for a year. They don’t want that kind of future,” observes Linnette Edwards, a certified senior real estate specialist in Oakland, California, and co-founder of Abio Properties. “So they are planning to age in place in their current home or downsize somewhere else, like an accessory dwelling unit on their children’s property.”

ADUs used to be called ‘granny flats,’ and since California liberalized codes that allowed them to be built on existing home sites, their popularity has soared in the nation’s most populous state, particularly for multi-generational living. “The number of permits taken out for ADUs in California alone has increased 11-fold in the last few years,” Edwards notes. “Multi-generational living via ADUs is high priority.” she adds.

2. Multi-generational Living Surges
Multi-generational closeness is showing up in the new home construction sector, as well as in resale real estate trends. “In many of the nation’s hottest job and housing markets, we’re seeing two or three generations of families coming together,” shares Tim Costello, CEO of BDX, parent company of top-rated websites for new home construction. “The trend of ‘baby-chasers’ – Boomers following their adult children and grandchildren – will continue,” he predicts.

“Many hot housing markets across the Southeast are attracting all age groups driven by robust job growth, more affordable housing compared to major urban markets, and a climate and quality of life that appeals to Boomers,” Costello adds. What are these multi-generational buyers looking for? “Gated 55-plus enclaves in master-planned communities for all age groups provide many buyers with the best of both worlds,” he notes. This allows grandparents to live close by, without crowding themselves or their adult children.

Read More