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(Updated November 2016)

The over-50 population is a growing force in America and the rate of home ownership is higher among this age group than in any other. Today's seniors have more active lifestyles, are more affluent, and if they downsize their homes it is often in square footage rather than price. This field guide offers marketing ideas and statistical data to help REALTORS® gain insight into this lucrative demographic. (C. Dodge, Information Specialist)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

2016 Home Ownership: Rates by Age 

  • 65+:     77.9%
  • 55-64:  74.7%
  • 45-54:  69.1%
  • 35-44:  58.3%
  • < 35:    34.1%

Source: Homeownership Rates By Age, (U.S. Census Bureau, July 28, 2016).

Housing Trends of the Over-50 Demographic

Freddie Mac: Over 5 Million Baby Boomers Expect to Rent Next Home by 2020, (Multifamily Executive, July 7, 2016).

The Top 10 Senior Housing Trends for 2016, (Redfin, July 7, 2016).

5 Design Features That Help Sell Multi-generational Housing, (The Huffington Post, July 14, 2016).

Baby Boomers, Downsizing for Retirement, Create Niche Real Estate Market, (Curbed, Mar. 22, 2016).

Confidence in the 55+ Market Highest Since 2008, (Builder, Feb. 04, 2016).

Housing Trends for Baby Boomers, (National Association of Home Builders, n.d.).

What is Universal Design?, (National Association of Home Builders, n.d.).

Marketing Tips & Strategies

Coming of Age: Marketing to Baby Boomers, (Multi-Housing News, Sept. 7, 2016).

4 Ways You’re Wrong About Boomers, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 15, 2016).

Baby Boomers Are Noticing How You’re (Not) Speaking to Them, (Marketing Research Association, Nov. 2, 2015).

Marketing Real Estate to Baby Boomers, (Stevens & Tate Attraction Marketing, Sept. 4, 2015).

Flexibility Is Key in Marketing to Boomers, (Multifamily Executive, July 18, 2015).

Reverse Mortgages 101 for Seniors and their Heirs, (Realty Times, July 15, 2015).

10 Things You Need to Know About Marketing to Baby, (Register Media, May 13, 2015).

How to Market to Baby Boomers, (Experian, n.d.).

Reverse Mortgage Basics

Reverse Mortgages, (Federal Trade Commission, June 2015).

Reverse Mortgage Disadvantages and Advantages, (New Retirement, Apr. 23, 2014).

Frequently Asked Questions About HUD's Reverse Mortgages, (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, n.d.).

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Considering a Reverse Mortgage, (AARP, Fall 2012).

Reverse Mortgages: 10 Things You Need to Know, (Fox Business, May 31, 2013).

Reverse mortgage: What is it and how does it work?, (Bankrate, n.d.).

Related Websites

SRES: Seniors Real Estate Specialists® designees are REALTORS® qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+.

Mortgage Calculator: A guide to help you understand how reverse mortgages work.

AARP: A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50 and older improve the quality of their lives.

Immersion Active: Integrates data-driven digital marketing strategy with sales techniques.

The Cohousing Association of the United States: A national non-profit raising awareness of the benefits of cohousing and supporting the development of cohousing communities nationwide.

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development: Information for senior citizens.

SeniorResource: The “E-cyclopedia” of senior options and information.

Leading Age (AAHSA): An association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to making America a better place to grow old.

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Boomer Basics (Adobe eReader)

Boomer Marketing (Adobe eReader)

Future Marketing: Targeting Seniors, Boomers, and Generations X and Y (Adobe eReader)

Generation Blend, Managing Across the Technology Age Gap (Overdrive WMA Audiobook)

Gilbert Guide to Senior Housing (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Reverse Mortgages for Dummies® (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Complete Guide to Reverse Mortgages (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Mortgage Answer Book (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Boomer consumer: ten new rules for marketing to America's largest, wealthiest and most influential group, (Great Falls, VA: linx, 2007). HD 7293 T39

Reverse mortgages for dummies, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2005). HG 2051 L99r

The new reverse mortgage formula: How to convert home equity into tax-free income, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). HG 2051 K29

Pocket idiot’s guide to reverse mortgages, (Indianapolis, IN: Alpha, 2005). HG 2040.5 P76

Reverse mortgage handbook: A consumer's guide for senior homeowners, (Kissimmee, FL: Jawbone Publishing Corporation, 2004). HG 2051 B21

Reverse mortgages for senior homeowners, (Dearborn Real Estate Education, 2003). HD 7287.9 L13

Boomers on the horizon: housing preferences of the 55+ market, (Washington, DC: National Association of Home Builders, 2002), HD 7293 W97b

Marketing to the mindset of boomers and their elders, (Saint Paul, MN: Attitudebase, 2002). HD 7293 M82

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Complying With the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

Field Guide to Fair Housing

Field Guide to the Best Places to Live

Field Guide to Vacation, Resort, and Second Homes

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.