Realtors/​Builders to Target Upper Income Seniors

In a report I highlighted earlier this week, the best that can be said for the housing market is that some geographic regions are seeing gradual recovery. Because of the general economic conditions across the U.S., both realtors and builders may fare well by focusing on specific demographic groups as they build and sell new residences. A study on the senior housing market by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. shows that targeting upper income seniors could be lucrative for marketers.

The RCLCO study analyzed the intentions of consumers who are approaching or already living in an empty nest. These consumers all have a net worth of at least $800,000. Looking ahead to their next housing options, 14% said they will retire to a resort or similar location. And for some of these consumers, the purchase of a resort home will be a second residence. When the purchase intent is a second residence, the following ownership models are most inviting:

  • Private residence club 15%
  • Destination club 20%
  • Second home for seasonal use 43%
  • Second home for more frequent use 35%
  • Timeshare 13%

Consumers with assets of over $6 million have a slightly higher intent (7%) to purchase a second home in the next year than consumers with assets of just $800,000 (6%). In addition, the upper income consumers with the highest intention of purchasing an existing vacation home within the next year (7%) are generally under age 50.

When marketing these types of properties, builders and realtors will need to target major metro areas densely populated with older, wealthier consumers. The RCLCO statistics point to the following regions that contain affluent empty nesters who intend to relocate to resorts: New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

[Source: Drucker, Adam. Measuring the High-​End Seniors Housing Market. www​.rclco​.com. 24 Jun. 2011. Web. 5 Aug. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.