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The Impact of Aging Populations on CRE Development Needs

In today’s constantly changing market, staying on top of trends is how developers gain a competitive advantage. Particularly, shifts in population trends impact real estate development needs across the board. 

One upcoming trend that commercial real estate professionals need to be aware of is how rapidly the population is aging. While this is true all around the world, it’s especially prevalent in the United States. Between the baby boom after World War II and better medical care and technology, the American population has skewed older for the past few decades. 

In fact, by 2034, adults over 65 are expected to outnumber children under 18. By that point, the U.S. Census estimates there will be roughly 77 million people aged 65 or older. Because of this, here are some trends you can expect to start showing up in the world of CRE. 

Mixed-Use Developments in Urban Areas

As more and more Baby Boomers move into a new phase of life and become empty nesters, many are downsizing and moving to more urban areas. Not only are locations like these closer to shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, but they also allow Boomers to travel without worrying about the house they left behind. 

Senior-focused mixed-use developments, such as those with resort-style apartments on upper floors and shops or other senior-friendly activities on lower floors, will increase in popularity as this group continues to grow. 

Retirement Communities 

Along the same vein, as mixed-use senior housing in urban areas grows, so will retirement communities that function almost like their own cities, like Del Webb communities, for example. 

These often-gated communities are designed to be easily accessible and tend to have almost everything seniors could need within their boundaries. With grocery stores, hospitals and other medical facilities, gyms, parks, nail and hair salons, houses of worship, and other places designed for social gatherings, older adults living in these types of communities have access to the types of amenities that support a full and engaging life just beyond their doorstep. 

With advances in medicine, this becomes important because people are living longer, healthier lives. By 2030, which is when all Baby Boomers will have reached retirement age, roughly 18% of the U.S. population will be looking for new activities to enjoy while they live out their retirement. Having amenities like those mentioned above in places that are easy for retirees to access will be important to them. 

Medical Facilities 

With an aging population comes more medical needs. This will spur the need for either more medical office buildings or more non-traditional healthcare spaces, like those in shopping malls, strip centers, or near other retail establishments. 

Whether these locations cater to seniors only, or to a broader healthcare audience, there will be a greater need with so many older Americans. 

The Bottom Line 

The number of Americans aged 65 and older is rapidly increasing, and their needs will change the face of the commercial real estate development for years to come. Using mobile GPS data to analyze population changes can help your firm stay on top of trends and make smarter decisions about where to invest. 

To learn more about mobile GPS data, check out our Mobilytics application. 
 

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