Recognizing the opportunity in the 55+ market, William Lyon Homes is launching Ovation, a line of small to mid-size active adult communities in markets including Phoenix; Las Vegas; Lacey, WA; and Orange County, CA, according to the company.
The builder says it will differentiate the communities from others in the age-targeted market through its architecture and amenities, including modern styling, ample natural light, indoor/outdoor spaces and smart-home technology, and by allowing buyers to “right-size” their homes.
Ovation communities will focus on catering to socially connected lifestyles through locations with access to retail, dining, medical centers, outdoor recreation and transportation, as well as business centers. In-community amenities will be designed around recreation, leisure and social activities, including fitness studios, yoga, arts and crafts studios, and walking trails, as well as infrastructure for organic formation and evolution of social groups.
It’s no secret that the 55+ market is thriving. A year ago, the age group accounted for about 42% of all head of households in the U.S. And when it’s time to move, they’re not all choosing to downsize to multifamily homes. In the fourth quarter of 2016, NAHB’s 55+ Housing Market Index reached a mark of 67, the highest since the index began in 2008 and with a particularly strong outlook for the single-family sector.
The approach William Lyon is taking with Ovation could be key to reaching today’s active-adult buyers, who are markedly different in their wants and needs from the same age group a generation ago. More formal amenities are giving way to flexible community spaces, and the typical golf course–pool combo needs to be supplemented with modern options such as yoga studios, pet areas and community gardens.
When it comes to the homes themselves, the wants and needs of today’s 55+ single-family buyers often aren’t much different from what is trending heavily elsewhere in the industry. Research by Hanley Wood and builder Taylor Morrison revealed familiar desires such as open floor plans, high ceilings, natural light, integrated indoor/outdoor space, energy-efficient features and storage.
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