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September 2016

Onetime weekend destinations are finding huge pool of buyers among "Innovators"

Buyers look for certain criteria

Innovators (those born in the 1950s) are reprioritizing their lifestyles, notably by focusing on time spent outdoors and with grandchildren. This shift is creating a change in buyers for second-home destinations, according to researchers at John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

In the mid-2000s, master-planned communities in weekend destinations with a golf course, resort pool, and clubhouse sprouted and thrived," reported Chris Dorociak, senior manager with Burns. However, he noted, demand vanished for these lifestyle communities in the wake of the Great Recession.

Now, a decade later, there's a resurgence in demand. Credit aging demographics, a recovery in net worth, and the ability to stay connected.

Traditional weekend destinations that share certain characteristics are appealing to innovators, a cohort that totals 40 million, possesses $18 trillion in net worth, and is phasing into retirement. These retirees and pre-retirees are choosing these communities as their destinations that meet their dream of happy retirement.

John Burns Real Estate consultants say communities currently experiencing this shift from second-home destination to retirement hot spots share five common traits:

  1. They are located within a three-hour drive of major metro areas where friends and family live.
  2. They offer a combination of active and passive outdoor recreation activities, from trails and open space to golf and boating.
  3. They contain onsite amenities like pools, game rooms, and parks, which are key for attracting visits from grandkids.
  4. They foster a sense of community.
  5. They are relatively close to services such as grocery stores and hospitals.

The Innovator segment that is shifting its focus from work to retirement will consider traditional weekend destinations that offer new homes and new designs oriented toward maximizing their retirement, according to consultants at Burns Real Estate.