The last half decade in the United States has been economically challenging to say the least, but many of us are feeling that we’ve finally emerged from the Great Recession. And though the housing market was hit especially hard, there’s been enough improvement for seniors to feel comfortable bidding their homes adieu and moving on to whatever’s next – whether it’s a smaller home for the retirement years, a place near the kids and grandkids, or a move to a senior living community.
Based on more than 100 focus groups conducted by senior market feasibility firm PMD Advisory Services, LLC, on about 1,500 seniors around the country, many seniors now feel they can sell their homes and get a fair deal. Of course, expectations have been adjusted, with seniors recognizing that the sale price will probably be less than what they might have gotten four or five years ago.
“There is a lot more willingness on the part of seniors to start looking at moving,” says Michael Starke, owner and managing director of PMD Advisory. “They’re more confident about the ability to sell their home.”
And seniors are taking that confidence all the way to the bank. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales surged this May to the highest level since November 2009. Properties are also selling more quickly, on the market for a median of 41 days in May 2013 – the shortest time since monthly tracking began in May 2011.
“Seniors seem to be in a place of acceptance about their economic situation and their home values,” says Starke. “The activity level is starting to move, and that’s a really good sign.”