Owning homes losing appeal for boomers? Uh oh.

From the NY Times:

Demand Grows for Over-55 Rentals

“IT used to be your home was your castle,” said Lisa Kelly, who manages several rental complexes for people 55 and over. “Nowadays nobody wants a castle, or a mortgage — especially if you are older.”

But in this postrecession era, there are indications of a growing market for 55-and-over rental complexes, particularly ones that price their rents at the lower end.

At Waterside Villas in Monroe, monthly rents for one-bedroom apartments start at $1,200, and utilities, shuttle bus service, a concierge and activities are included. According to Ms. Kelly, who works for Kohl Asset Management, the pace of leasing at Waterside has been up sharply since January.

Although the pace of leasing is also up at some higher-priced buildings, including Heritage Pointe of Teaneck, which her company manages for another owner, Ms. Kelly said the trend had been more distinct at Waterside.

Set in a working-class community in Middlesex County, Waterside attracts a majority of its residents from the surrounding area, and about a third of them are still working, she said. The average age is comparatively young — many are in their late 50s and early 60s — and there are 19 couples.

The New Jersey housing market analyst Jeffrey G. Otteau has pretty much sounded a dirge for “active senior” condos, calculating an inventory build-up that would take more than 13 years to sell. He said that demand for rentals was likely to grow, but only if they were priced somewhere below $1,500 a month.

“The market for senior rentals will be extremely price-sensitive going forward,” he said, “and projects that are near transportation and job centers will do best.”

Members of the baby boom generation are realizing they are going to have to work “an extra 10 years” past 62, said Mr. Otteau, whose appraisal company, the Otteau Valuation Group, is based in New Brunswick. “They will be seeking communities that are located well, convenient to shopping and affordable for them, whatever their income might be,” he said.

“The majority of seniors are moving from homes they have owned for 30 or 40 years, where the mortgage was paid off long ago,” Mr. Uranowitz said. “If they are able to sell in this market, they won’t get what the house was worth at the peak, but what they get is free and clear. They become solid, reliable renters. ”

More and more people are living longer, and staying healthier. Some rental projects, like Heritage Pointe, offer doctors’ offices on site, even if “assisted living” is not part of the amenities package.

This means that older renters can stay in place longer, Mr. Otteau added, and that the tenant base becomes more stable.

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26 Responses to Owning homes losing appeal for boomers? Uh oh.

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Get Ready for the Great MERS Whitewash Bill

    When Congress comes back into session next week, it may consider measures intended to bolster the legal status of a controversial bank owned electronic mortgage registration system that contains three out of every five mortgages in the country.

    The system is known as MERS, the acronym for a private company called Mortgage Electronic Registry Systems. Set up by banks in the 1997, MERS is a system for tracking ownership of home loans as they move from mortgage originator through the financial pipeline to the trusts set up when mortgage securities are sold.

    The system has come under scrutiny by critics who charge MERS with facilitating slipshod practices. Recently, lawyers have filed lawsuits claiming that banks owe states billions of dollars for mortgage recording fees they avoided by using MERS.

    Now it appears that Congress may attempt to prevent any MERS meltdown from occurring. MERS is owned by all the biggest banks, and they certainly do not want it to be sunk by huge fines. Investors in mortgage-backed securities also do not want to see the value of their bonds sink because of doubts about the ownership of the underlying mortgages.

    So it looks like the stage may be set for Congress to pass a bill that would limit MERS exposure on the recording fee issue and perhaps retroactively legitimate mortgage transfers conducted through MERS private database.

  2. Yikes says:

    Why would anyone want a big house – or even a small one – in retirement? I loathe yardwork now… You think I’ll want to do it then?

  3. Outofstater says:

    #1 This is sickening. Whitewash the rotting timbers, touch up the x-rays to hide the lethal tumor and it will all go away. This will just make it worse. Everything they have done has just made it worse. The longer it goes on, the bigger the final ka-blooey. What we need here is honesty, and admission of the truth, an admission of how bad things really are followed by blazing sunshine exposing the worst of the worst. Then maybe once we really know what we are dealing with, we can begin to deal with it. Getting more coffee now… I wonder if Gary has any xanax left over…

  4. Outofstater says:

    Drat. Mod.

  5. Fast Eddie says:

    “The majority of seniors are moving from homes they have owned for 30 or 40 years, where the mortgage was paid off long ago,” Mr. Uranowitz said. “If they are able to sell in this market, they won’t get what the house was worth at the peak, but what they get is free and clear.

    Talk about comp killers. Couple this with the lack of credit worthy buyers, no jobs and a bad economy and let me know where prices are gonna be in a year from now… or two years from now.

  6. Confused In NJ says:

    2.Yikes says:
    November 14, 2010 at 8:28 am
    Why would anyone want a big house – or even a small one – in retirement? I loathe yardwork now… You think I’ll want to do it then?

    Privacy and you outsource the Yard Work.

  7. House Whine says:

    4- space for family members to visit. i want the nice relatives to feel comfortable and i want to have enough room to entertain. other than that, an apartment or rental townhouse would suffice.

  8. scribe says:

    With my in-laws, the husband didn’t want to sell because he loved gardening. Big activity for some seniors. Now that they’re in an apartment, he takes care of planting all the flowers in my brother’s yard.

  9. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    Fast Eddie [5],

    All the elephants will attempt to depart thru a miniscule crack. Sell? Sell to whom?

  10. jamil says:

    Comrade prev thread: Re Shore Guy
    “jamil. You’re a fellow member of the VRWC, but dude, that dog won’t hunt”

    This is moot now. Shore Guy got reinstated by MSNBC and I believe he took first flight out of rehab (hope he didn’t get stuck anywhere) to get back to the saltmines.
    So he can continue to to copy-paste “legal” articles from Obamaweek showing how bad GWB is and how great his idol is. Thank god Guantanamo is now closed, KSM is tried in civilian court rather than held indefinitely in Guantanamo, we don’t raid Afgan villages any more and we get respect in international arena. I especially enjoyed Keith trying to get away with claiming (with legal arguments from Obamaweek) that President does not have war-time powers for anything, when president is from GOP. When president is lefty, he can of course start extrajudicial killings of US citizens, nuking or wiping out civilian cities here and there but god forbid if some mid-level DOJ attorney dares to suggest that GOP President has wide war-time powers! It is the Biggest threat to civil liberties in the history of this country!

  11. Fast Eddie says:

    There were other houses that were on the market for a long time, six months with no activity. When I’d put an offer on the house, within half a day they’d get another, and it would turn into a bidding war.

    Is this a beautiful statement or what? Read the RE section of today’s Bergen Record. All of a sudden, we have multiple bids after the f*cking house was a rotting corpse for months on end. Just keep bidding and we’ll let you know when to stop. This is why the whole housing market is burning like a Chicago tenament in 1871. They tried this statement with us 10 years ago. We laughed at the realtor.

  12. Yo'me says:


    shoreguy =keith olbermann? celebrity in njrereport.who knows!

  13. NJGator says:

    Ex-Newark Mayor Sharpe James now part of group looking to reform ctiy’s politics


  14. Barbara says:

    Here is a classic example of chasing the market:


    scroll down for the listing changes. The magic number imo is 500,000 and not a penny more.

  15. Mike says:

    Barbara reduced almost 200k in 10 months! Looks like they’re desperate

  16. safe as houses says:

    #14 Barb,

    I like the house. But with 17k a year in taxes that’s a PITI over 5k a month.

  17. Barbara says:

    Mike, if they were desperate they would list at a price that the current market actually supports. Just another example of fun and fantasy on the mls.

  18. Fabius Maximus says:

    #175 Clot (previous thread)

    When I was growing up, Tawny was the drink of choice for alcoholic homeless.

    Portugal has to get rid of the Mateus Rose / Lancers lock on exports.
    Germany has to get rid of Liebfraumilch and Sekt.

  19. Shore Guy says:

    While driving through a nice neighborhood I saw three houses for sale on a single block, two of them FSBO. A short distance away, I saw a home listed with an agency, with an interesting additional sign where agents often place a sign for open houses or sold. This one said: Agent needs sale.

  20. Shore Guy says:

    “shoreguy =keith olbermann? ”

    I feel like the last person to know.

  21. NJCoast says:

    Bruce hanging backstage at the concert. Bob is old and strange.

  22. Pat says:

    jamil, as of 11/9, the Super of our county school system (one of top in country) recommended a complete wipe out of NCLB on math. Apparently, it was a complete failure to have masses of little kids forced to skip grade levels of math so that the schools could push them all prematurely above grade level, thus holding only a few back on grade level for ease of teaching/passing them.

    My daughter lost 3rd grade math for no reason. I spent countless hours tutoring her and re-teaching her night after night – for no reason. Most of her 4th class continues to be tested on 6th grade levels and continues to forget the crap the minute the test is over.

    Bush is no longer on the agenda, dude. We’re on SOTF at this point. Plus, I get to go back to work and let the teachers do the teaching.

  23. borat obama says:


  24. borat obama says:

    Jj for presidente

  25. borat obama says:

    Hi fiveeee

  26. Right back at ya Borat Obama.

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