Lack of existing inventory of previously owned homes continues to drive buyers to new construction, according to the Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, Robert Dietz. This is also true in our local 7-county region. At the end of April 2023, the number of new listings were down 16.6% and the number of closed sales were down 18.5% from the previous year. The local lack of inventory continues to drive the median sales price up 11.9% to $235,000. Though our region remains much more affordable than other parts of the country, rising costs and higher interest rates have chipped away at local affordability by double digit percentages every month for the last year. In May 2021, the local housing affordability index was 228 and in April 2023 it was 135. For reference, an index of 135 means the median household income is 135% of what is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. A higher number means greater affordability. The population most impacted by the rapid changes in affordability is both seniors and first-time home buyers. The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University forecasts that the number of U.S. households headed by someone more than 80 years old will be 17.5 million in 2038. Many seniors hope to age in place, but their home may lack the amenities and transportation alternatives to do so. The Midwest is becoming a hub for retirees because it is more affordable than the coastal states. This increase in migration of retirees locally accentuates the need for community amenities designed to help seniors. We have a Team Member with a Senior Real Estate Specialist designation to meet the needs of maturing clients when making life-changing decisions to retire, right-size, or join an active adult community. We help manage the financial and emotional challenges of selling a long-held family home or connect clients to accountants, attorneys, and other professionals who understand the unique needs of seniors. Contact us if we may be of assistance.