Published on May 25, 2022
Private Communities Registry (PCR), the trusted online resource for real estate shoppers interested in amenity-rich, master-planned lifestyle communities, has released its 2022 Survey of Homebuyers and Renters Researching Lifestyle Communities Report. The free, 27-page report reveals insight into the behavior, motivations, and financial situations of retirees and pre-retirees searching for homes in communities that provide specific characteristics, amenities, and lifestyle preferences.
“The annual report provides key market intelligence for builders, developers, clubs, and anyone involved with the planning, development, and marketing of lifestyle communities,” says Ben Keal, PCR’s Director of Sales and Operations. “We administer the survey to better understand the demographics and predilections of lifestyle community buyers as well as where and how they conduct their research—and offer some perspective on what communities can do to capitalize on the information.”
For instance, according to the report, 86% of respondents say their timeline for purchasing a home in a lifestyle community is between 6 and 24 months. Of those, 41% specifically said “within two years,” when asked how soon they plan on buying—an 11% increase from last year.
“We’ve always said that the standard buying cycle for the lifestyle buyer typically aged 45-65+ is 18 months. These are educated buyers who have likely purchased multiple houses and are now looking for a lifestyle community that complements their retirement aspirations,” explains Ben. “This year’s survey results and increase in the number of those willing to wait longer to make their move speaks to the extended and deliberate decision process for these niche buyers as well as the importance of constant lead nurturing, even when the real estate market is hot.”
The 2022 report also suggests that of those who prefer to rent, 36% now say they would pay over $2,000/month compared to just 29% in 2021 and 22% in 2020. As far as potential homebuyers, those willing to pay a premium ($750,000 – $1 million+) now stands at 14%—nearly doubling those willing to spend that much two years ago. While the majority of homebuyers still favor the $250,000 – $500,000 sweet spot (54%), this year’s results provide evidence that lifestyle community buyers are a segment acutely aware of rising real estate costs—and are more than willing to pay to get what they want.
Other key findings indicate that water and golf remain high priorities with most searchers looking to live near the beach, on the lake, or in a golf community. Furthermore, fitness, health, and wellness amenities continue to be must-haves for a vast majority of lifestyle community home searchers.
“Eighty-three percent said ‘active lifestyle amenities’ are the reason they want to live in a community, and they cited swimming pools, walking/biking trails, and fitness centers as their most-preferred amenities. The focus on health, wellness, social engagement, and next-level amenities that promote physical and emotional well-being are more important than ever. It’s essential that developers and communities take notice if they want to attract the next generation of homebuyers,” concludes Ben.
The results of this year’s report analyzed the responses of over 1,600 visitors to PrivateCommunities.com who completed the survey in April of 2022. With more than 1.3 million annual users, this report represents a segment of the impactful data regularly collected by PCR.
For details on these insights and full survey results, download the full 2022 Survey of Homebuyers and Renters Researching Lifestyle Communities Report here.