Consumer and Home Design TrendsMaster-Planned Communities

Retirees Want More Dogs and Gardens, Less Golf and Pickle Ball

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John Burns

May 5, 2018

Retiree amenity preferences shift over time. In our book Big Shifts Ahead, Chris Porter and I broke the generations into decade born because the traditional definitions involved far too many years. By doing so, we have been able to identify shifting trends more quickly.

We surveyed park preferences of almost 3,000 registered new home shoppers born in the 1940s (Achievers), compared them to an additional 5,200+ born in the 1950s (Innovators), and noticed the following:

  • More dog parks for younger retirees. The 1950s Innovators rated a dog park as the #1 amenity, replacing golf cart trails as the #1 park amenity among those born in the 1940s. 56% of 1950s Innovators want a dog park, compared to just 50% of those born in the 1940s.

  • More organic gardens for younger retirees. Personal organic gardens surged to the #2 park request among 1950s Innovators, with 49% requesting an organic personal garden compared to only 40% of those born in the 1940s. 43% also requested an organic community garden—3% more than the prior generation.

  • Less golf. The percent of 1950s Innovators selecting golf cart trails fell a substantial 6% to 47%. The coming generation of retirees appears to love golf a little less than their predecessors, which is something our consultants picked up on years ago.

  • Less pickle ball. Pickle ball plunged a whopping 8% to only 22% of 1950s Innovators that want a pickle ball court.

Know your target home buyer. Perhaps those amazing 1950s Innovators will love golf and pickle ball more 10 years from now than they do today, and maybe they will be less likely to take care of a dog or a garden. Nonetheless, focus on what they want today. Developers armed with this information are going to make much more informed decisions than those who are not. We are passionate about helping you make the best decisions possible.


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About The Author

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John Burns
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John grows, leads, and supports a team of passionate, articulate, likable, and smart experts. Together, we solve today so our clients can navigate to tomorrow.

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New Home Trends Institute

The New Home Trends Institute pairs design inspiration with exclusive insights into the “why” behind consumers’ housing choices. Gain exclusive insight into housing preferences and pain points through our monthly survey insights reports, webinars, and proprietary surveys of builders, architects, designers, and other industry professionals.
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Big Shifts Ahead

Demographics determine the direction of your business. Demographic trends can be overwhelming, misleading, confusing, conflicting, and difficult to predict. Readers of this book will have a huge competitive advantage because they will be making decisions with facts, and they will be better able to adjust their strategies when unanticipated events shift prevailing trends.

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