Question of the Month: Active Adult Communities

How do active adult (age-restricted) communities fit into the continuum of care, and is their role growing?


Sector becoming more visible

By Aron Will

Vice Chairman, 

CBRE Capital Markets

Five years ago, active adult was neither widely understood nor prevalent. 

With the emergence of several large players, active adult has become more visible. It is now emerging in all the primary and secondary markets as competition for market-rate apartments and independent living. It has also become an “accepted investment type” within the charters of many of the prevalent dedicated seniors housing funds. 

Catering to a mid-70s resident who desires the amenities and social programming, but is five to 10 years away from any real care needs, is who active adult has successfully attracted. It’s a macro bet, and I’m a believer.


Demand is on the rise

By Alan Plush



With the coming Baby Boomer wave, seniors will require services at multiple levels in greater numbers. This wave is finally close enough to actually anticipate.

Active adult will likely maintain its current penetration level as an option. However, the rising numbers of seniors will dictate increased demand for this option. 

One only has to look at The Villages in Florida as an example to see this dynamic at work. Affordability, lifestyle choices (some people just prefer renting and apartments to ownership and detached housing) and the quality of the product will all result in a steady and continued increase in demand for this product.


Helpful tool for operators

By Jim Moore


Moore Diversified Services

Active adult can effectively expand an operator’s continuum in a market-responsive and viable manner. 

Advantages include a sharpened focus to the campus, increased average length of stay, creating a “feeder market” to other services, optimized age and income resident, better profit margin, increased product land use and increased campus value.  

The active adult living concept is growing and represents a cure for the classic “I’m not ready for retirement living” sales objection. Residents can live on the senior living campus and access a comprehensive array of mandatory services on an optional, a la carte basis.


Active adult residents skip IL

By Margaret Wylde


ProMatura Group

Active adult communities are the first age-qualified product to which 55+ households move. The greatest proportion is for-sale, single-family homes. Homes give a sense of control and a convenient lifestyle.

Active adult communities attract vendors of every household and personal service needed and supplant independent living. If owners move, it is to assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing.

The 2010 U.S. Census revealed 485,000 new single-family homes built: 11,000 (2 percent) in a 55+ development. In 2015, of 628,000 new homes completed, 20,000 were 55+ (3 percent). Many new national builders are entering the active adult market.

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