Baby Boomers become main target for home builders

Manufacturers aim to reel in buyers with new bells and whistles

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Five years ago, as the first group of Baby Boomers began to slow down their work pace and contemplate semi-retirement, the National Association of Home Builders thought it wise to start a Seniors Housing Council to understand what this segment of the population really wanted in its next home. This group of potential customers became so significant that NAHB even held an annual conference dedicated to the niche. Building for Boomers & Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposiumthis year will be held in April in Phoenix. In addition, NAHB has even gone to great lengths to change all mention of the word "senior" to "50+" in all of its promotional material and events. For example, the "Seniors Housing Council" now is the "50+ Housing Council" (nobody wants to be considered old--a national magazine is even running a contest for the best synonym for the word "senior"). It seems aging Baby Boomers--newly named "abbies" or "AB-Bs"--clearly are the most critical housing category. The recent International...