With an aging generation of Baby Boomers, we’re seeing the dawn of the “silver tsunami” (a term coined by Cunningham Group principal, Lee Brennan) changing the housing market. Senior citizens are making up more and more of the U.S. population. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that, in 2035, senior citizens will outnumber our nation’s youth. They expect people age 65 and over to reach 78 million while those age 18 and younger will only reach 76.4 million.
What does this mean for the housing industry? This generation of Baby Boomers won’t be the type of senior citizens living on a golf course and playing bridge. This wave of seniors will want to stay a part of the community they’ve always been in and remain close to their children and grandchildren. The market is going to have to prepare for that by creating new ways to fulfill their needs.
One of the ways we see communities already doing this is by creating multi-generational developments with more senior housing in cities and retail strips with more ambulatory services. In fact, FivePoint communities is already planning for this with some of its developments in Irvine. Even in the single family residential market, we see this more often everyday with younger generations planning to house their parents. A growing number of buyers are looking for single-level homes or at least a main-level bedroom and bath.
Easier access to healthcare services is vital when creating large-scale, innovative housing plans. Bisnow’s recent healthcare convention was attended by 360 healthcare and real estate professionals to discuss the impact of senior living trends and innovation in hospitals. In addition to adding more ambulatory services in retail strips, another way healthcare companies are planning to meet the needs of this new senior demographic is by partnering with rideshare companies. Dynamic Health’s Senior VP, Jeff Land, said that they have been successful in creating these strategic partnerships over the last 20 years and are continuing to do so now through a few new multiple joint ventures with Lyft, Airstrip, IBM Watson, and others.