Why are seniors less likely to move than younger households?  

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

Senior MobilityElderly baby boomers may be less likely to move to new "senior" housing in the numbers many expect, recent research from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies suggests. Despite their swelling ranks in the population, home owners older than 65 have had very low mobility rates compared to younger households. This difference is likely to persist in the future.

The reasons we might expect seniors to change their housing situation are many. Desire for a unit that is smaller, handicap accessible, easier to care for, less driving-dependent, more energy efficient, and more affordable are among the many reasons housing analysts expect a growing demand for senior housing. However, competing forces, including those listed here, are likely to lead many  boomers to stay where they are, writes Joint Center researcher George Masnick.

Estimating future demand for senior housing in Vermont will require careful assessment of community level market conditions. Despite their lower mobility rates, the very large numbers of aging baby boomers could well mean demand for additional housing. However, recognizing the desires of boomers and their unique propensity to be employed relative to prior generations of seniors will help us more accurately predict the quantity of additional senior housing units needed. It also indicates the growing need for efforts to help seniors age in place.

Read more at the Joint Center for Housing Studies web site.