ULI Washington News

ULIDC DIRT: Aging But Still Booming: Housing The Next Big Wave

By Leslie Braunstein

Often overlooked by developers and planners studying the housing needs of Generation Y, the fastest-growing age group in the US is actually the one aged 65 and older, says John K. McIlwain, ULI senior resident fellow/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing.

Aging but active baby boomers, as well as the generations before them, are creating new opportunities as well as challenges for the US housing industry as it strives to meet the diverse lifestyle needs of people in various phases of their senior years, according to McIlwain, author of a recent ULI publication, Housing in America: The Baby Boomers Turn 65.

McIlwain’s report, summarized by ULI Washington member Leslie Braunstein in Urban Land magazine, explores the housing market changes that will occur as the leading edge of the baby boom generation turns 65 and as the “silent generation” (those aged 67 to 84 years) and the “greatest generation” (those 85 and older) make housing choices.

“Over the last two decades, unprecedented change has occurred, and today three separate generations are over 65, each with its own outlook on life and distinct housing needs that are unlike those of past markets for people in their age group,” notes McIlwain. “Leading-edge boomers reaching 65 with expectations of a longer life than any generation has experienced before, along with the fact that many of the silent and greatest generations are running through their limited retirement savings—combined with a continuing reduction in federal and state resources for housing subsidies—is leading to a crisis in U.S. housing for those over 65.”

You can hear from ULI’s McIlwain and other industry leaders focusing on the emerging housing needs of the 65-and-better generation at ULI’s 2013 Real Estate Trends Conference, “Life Cycles in the New Economy – People and Places” to be held Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington, DC. Joining McIlwain will be David Mayhood of The Mayhood Company, Julie Smith of Bozzuto Management Company, and Dan Cinelli of Perkins Eastman on a panel moderated by Todd Harff of Creating Results.

This year’s exciting Trends program also explores the housing needs of millennial families, the future of office building, “crowdsourcing,” regionalism, leadership, “not your parents’ suburbs,” and much more.

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