The baby boomers born during the post II World War baby boom in Australia are nearing retirement age.
The 5.5 million ‘Gen Zeds’ in Australia are the largest generation ever, and comprise around 20% of the population. There rapid coming of age is expected to have a strong impact on the economy as well as the real estate market that Gen Y feels locked out of, thanks to housing unaffordability popularly blamed on baby boomers and foreign investors.
Speaking of the baby boomers, this is a generation that has always had it their way – reveling in the post world war peace and abundance. This is also a generation that is said have not realised the reality of retirement and many of the baby boomers foresee themselves working way into their 70s, as according to ASFA Retirement Standard research, their super will only last them for 8 years, on an average. On the flip side, baby boomers have real estate to their rescue, with many of them owning large homes that have been mostly empty once their children flew out of the next.
With life expectancy over 80 years, downsizing their property or selling their family home will be the most popular way for baby boomers to afford their mortgage and lifestyle in the golden years. Many will move to regional towns that are increasingly bridging the gap between the city and the country.
So, investors, if you are planning to flip a house, make it ‘baby boomer’ friendly as it could be a huge market to tap into in the future.
Here are some tips to make your house ‘baby boomer’ worthy:
1. The location will matter
Most retirement homes at the outskirts are not appealing to baby boomers who’d rather spend their retirement closer to the amenities and people they are used to. Your place of residence will have a major impact on your lifestyle.
Young families prefer ‘family friendly’ quieter areas but recent trends are showing a preference in boomers to live in more happening areas of a city.
Inner city options and regional towns with modern infrastructure is where the rooster will come home to rule.
2. They want it luxe
Baby boomers are tired of old houses requiring constant repairs. In their hey days, they’d rather go for modern appliances that are more productive, refurbished houses with latest fittings that will require minimum repairs, efficient heating and electrical systems to save on the energy bills and smart windows and door paneling for better ventilation as well as safety.
Tip – Shiny handsome yards require a lot of maintenance that is simply not possible in old age. A smaller lawn, a part of which is hardscaped or a patio is easier to maintain.
3. Smaller, yet smarter
Size will no longer govern the choice but layout will.
Small low-rise properties that are easy to maintain or a split-level layout with the living and master bedroom on the ground floor is much more convenient for the aged.
Tip – Instead of a rigid layout, leave spaces that they can transform according to their requirement, allowing them to move around without obstruction.
4. Keep on working
A major chunk of ‘Gen Zeds’ will keep on working partly through their retirement to be able to afford everything they want. Catering for a home office or simply having an extra room that can be turned into an office will add a lot of worth to the property for baby boomers.
The baby boomers will put a huge demand on the real estate market for suitably designed homes in comfortable and affordable locations that investors can greatly benefit from by understanding the mentality and requirements of the ageing baby boomers.
Are there other features you can think of to make a property more appealing to baby boomers? Help your fellow property wizards by sharing this blog and help them to own their home sooner.
By Vidhu Bajaj