Seniors Are Driving Condo/Townhome Sales

by Osman Parvez

Yesterday I wrote about the steadily increasing volume of Condo sales, pointing to demographic factors as core drivers. I did a bit more digging today, spending some time on our excellent state demographer's website. (p.s. If you're looking to analyze and understand colorado demographics or get a forecast of the future, this is a great place to start.)

Using 2005 as the base year, I compared projected growth of those 60yr and older to that of the total population for Boulder County. As expected, the 60 yr+ group of the population is expected to grow at a substantially faster rate (as depicted in the chart below).

This mirrors a national trend. Americans are getting older. To put it in plain english, the total population of Boulder county in 2010 is expected to be about 7% greater than 2005. Meanwhile, the population of those over the age of 60 is expected to be nearly 32% greater. That's a significant uptick in the older population in the county.

I suspect these figures are conservative and will be revised upward because they are unlikely to take into account American's increasing mobility. My unscientific, arbitrary, and personal assessment is this tendency is increasing. It's easier than ever to uproot for quality of life reasons. Plus certain cities in Colorado, including Ft. Collins, Boulder, and Louisville have also been identified in the popular press as great places to retire.

The housing market will respond accordingly. To point, aggressive builders like Pulte Homes PHM are developing new active senior communities here in Colorado that look nothing like the elder housing options of the past. FYI: PHM has seen its shsare price rise about 300% over the S&P500 during the past 5 years.

Click the chart for a larger view.

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