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Blog by Philip Jones

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            People who grew up during the Great Depression bought homes in the 1940s and `50s replete with one-car garages, Formica countertops and vinyl floors.  In recent years, Baby Boomers have been more highly selective.  Endowed with greater wealth, they often request 10-foot ceilings, high-end appliances, and electronic security upgrades.  Major builders delivering that lifestyle are enjoying brisk sales, even as today’s housing downturn continues.

 The over-55 market is growing into a much more important sector in the home buying market.  In 2005, the U.S. Census estimated that there were 67 million people age 55 and older.  That 55-plus population will grow to 85 million by 2014, estimates the National Association of Home Builders.  Someone 55 or older will head 40 percent of all households by 2012, as predicted.

Boomers own a substantial share of the nation’s wealth -- about $2.8 trillion or 36 percent of total household income.  Logically home builders and developers are targeting seniors, particularly those emerging Baby Boomer seniors, in planning and design of new housing projects.

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