January 28, 2020
The potential for America’s 80 million-plus Baby Boomers to once again transform the U.S. landscape through their post-retirement housing choices has been discussed frequently. Less widely acknowledged, though, is what Walker & Dunlop calls “the elephant in the room:” affordability.
“According to a report by the Stanford Center on Longevity, Baby Boomers hold less wealth, are deeper in debt, and will face higher expenses than people retiring a decade before them,” Walker & Dunlop says in its latest quarterly Multifamily Report. “Even with Social Security benefits, many seniors will require assistance in order to afford a comfortable retirement.”
Given the high costs of both construction and land, Walker & Dunlop says experts in the seniors housing market are “working diligently to come up with ideas and workarounds to ensure there are affordable options.” These include the following:
• Developing new, more efficient designs. “Tinkering with the design and layout of a property can make a huge difference in costs. Changes such as fewer hallways and re-purposed common spaces could have a significant impact.”
• Utilizing new technologies. “The tech sector continues to innovate within this space, and a creative use of new products, such as sensors that can track behavior and movement, can help cut overhead and operating costs.”
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Paul Bubny