Calvin Schnure, NAREIT senior vice president for research and economic analysis, spoke at the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Annual Research Forum to present results of a new study on the determinants of demand for senior housing. Study co-author Shruthi Venkatesh, manager for research and industry information with NAREIT, presented the results at a separate research conference sponsored by the Housing Statistics Users Group in Washington, D.C.

The study found that the senior housing sector has grown considerably over the past generation and offers an increasing diversity of choice for seniors. The move to senior housing has become, for many older Americans, a choice of lifestyle, rather than a move based on need for medical or nursing care.

As these shifts have taken place, moves to senior housing often take place at younger ages than in the past, including relatively young seniors in their 70s. The relationship between wealth and choice of housing has also evolved: In earlier years, greater wealth allowed for “aging in place” and a lower likelihood of living in senior housing; more recently, higher wealth has allowed a move to newer retirement communities with a higher level of non-medical services, activities and amenities.

These trends suggest that the effects of the aging of the baby boomers on demand for senior living communities may extend beyond those merely related to its size. With a large number of high-wealth individuals in this generation, high-end retirement communities may experience a considerable rise in demand.

Download the full presentation.

(Contact: Calvin Schnure at cschnure@nareit.com)

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