The current housing downturn has taken some steam out of housing demand from the 55+ population, but a survey conducted in February by NAHB and the MetLife Mature Market Institute identifies signficant opportunities in this market for both builders and remodelers at a time when a weak economy has forced households across the age spectrum to reassess how much housing they can afford.

The research was conducted largely to determine how well builders were meeting the preferences of this age demographic, and the results found that the industry was largely on the same wavelength as its potential customers.

The 1,500 consumers participating in the survey showed a strong preference for single-family detached homes in a suburban setting. Low maintenance and the availability of various services emerged as key concerns for 55+ households, and unlike their counterparts from just a few years ago, these consumers exhibited a strong desire for technology-driven amenities, particularly high-speed internet access.

Compared with survey responses from 254 builders who specialize in the 55+ market, consumers were not as aware of many universal housing features as they should be. And like the general population, they started losing some of their enthusiasm for green building principles when it came time to start paying for products that are priced at a premium. Builders, the survey found, will have to lead and educate 55+ prospects in both of these areas.

For more of this article, and more information about the survey, click here.