While the economy and aging baby boomers are changing home ownership rates, there are still opportunities to grow your share of wallet.
Home ownership used to be the gold standard for young adults. We bought houses and knew we had secured a great investment. But with the unstable economy, young adults today fight through the recession and home ownership rates continue to decline.
In mid 2006, home ownership hit a peak of 69%, since then, it has steadily decreased and is currently at 66.5%. This is largely due to the economy and the fact that home ownership is no longer a viable option for Gen-Y. On the other side of the coin, the first round of Baby Boomers recently reached retirement age and many are making decisions about how long they will be able to stay in their current homes.
With this in mind, I looked closer at home ownership data by age from the US Census. There is an overall trend of home ownership decreasing, but with those 45 and older, the decrease is not as drastic. There is even an increase of home ownership in the 65+ segment. The older generations continue to own and invest in their homes, and are often looking at how they can stay at their homes longer. You’ve probably heard the term, “aging-in-place” and it’s not fluff.
In fact, more people than ever are looking at aging-in-place products that make their homes more comfortable. These products can vary and include things like:
- Low-maintenance exteriors
- Wider hallways
- Ground-level master bedrooms
- Mobility solutions such as stair lifts and residential elevators
- Accessible kitchens and baths
- Easy-to-access storage
Remember to think outside of the box as to how your products or services can help young, first-time home buyers, or older consumers looking to age in their current home. Think about how you can reach these elusive homeowners and reap the benefits.
While it’s important to think about the aging in place segment, it’s not your only option. The overall decrease in home ownership means several things for your company and your marketing. First, it predicates a fundamental shift in your marketing messages. Be sure to avoid excluding the renting market as well as the landlord and owners of apartment complexes and Multi-Family Dwelling Units (MFDU’s). While new apartments and MFDU’s are not seeing a building increase yet, the rental rates are at an all-time high and will soon need renovations.
- Lawler: Census 2010: Homeownership Rates by Selected Age Groups – Calculated Risk Blog
- New Mover Report 2011: a Growing Market of Renters – Epsilon Targeting