The housing market is finally starting to normalize after three wild years. But even normal is a bit weird in the world of real estate. Even though home prices are falling, interest rates remain astronomically high, barring many from being able to afford homes.
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And then you’ve got everyone on the other side of the equation: the homeowners. They’ve got the most to lose because their homes are probably their biggest assets and greatest sources of net worth.
Arguably, of all homeowners, those who are retired are the most vulnerable, because they usually live on fixed incomes and can’t afford to play with risk. So, when they move in waves to sell their homes, it prompts the question, “What causes a retiree to sell their homes?”
Usually the answer leads to personal territory. Sean Cochran, a broker/Realtor of eXp Realty, LLC, shared with GOBankingRates a few common reasons that retires sell their abodes:
Downsizing. “Many retirees opt for a smaller home that requires less upkeep.”
Finances. “Some retirees sell their house to access the equity built up over time to make their retirement income stretch further.”
Health issues. “Health issues may cause a retiree to sell and move to a property with only one level. That way they can avoid climbing up and down steps.”
Relocation. “Retirees may want to live closer to family or move to a market that has a lower cost of living.”
Sometimes there are also external factors driving retirees to sell, as is likely the case with the cities on this list that are expected to be the biggest markets for retirees selling their homes in 2023, according to the nSkope Predictive Analytics Report. Let’s explore.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 17.6%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $533,015
“Not only does Santa Fe bring some pretty great weather, but it also brings some exciting architecture to the mix,” said Brittany Mendez, CMO of FloridaPanhandle.com. “There [is] an array of places to get some education now that works is done, along with some pretty incredible retirement communities to enjoy. Santa Fe has an average cost of living and isn’t more expensive than many places across the country.”
Retirees can make a slight profit on their homes right now. According to Redfin, the median home sale price is up 0.6% year over year.
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Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 18.2%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $394,075
“Cape Coral, Florida, has some pretty spectacular retirement communities, as well as some incredible homes for those who have some money to spend in retirement,” Mendez said. “When it comes to activities, there’s no shortage of wildlife and nature viewing, as well as some farmers’ markets and museums to enjoy. Cape Coral is also an extremely safe city so that people don’t have to worry about getting harmed while enjoying retirement .”
But why would retirees be leaving this lovely oasis? Possibly for the fat profits. The median home sale price is up 8.6% year over year, according to Redfin.
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 19.3%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $460,000
“Not only does [this city] have affordable living opportunities, but it also has a beach to retire beside as well as golf courses and plenty of shopping opportunities to enjoy as well,” Mendez said. “Myrtle Beach has a humble selection of some pretty stunning homes.”
It is also a city that is seeing values home appreciate by leaps and bounds. According to Redfin, the median home sale price is up 42.7% year over year.
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 20.4%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $385,317
“It is a fantastic city that has well-known high schools,” said Matt Bigach, real estate expert and rounder of We Buy Houses 4 Cash, citing one of the reasons that retirees may be motivated to sell — given that they don’ t have much need for high schools but families (who are willing to pay) do. This city is also rising in value, with home prices up 10% year over year, according to Redfin.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 21.3%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $212,500
“Hot Springs is becoming a hot market for sellers for its waterfront properties,” said Eli Pasternak, a licensed real estate agent and investor at Liberty House Buying Group. “The median home prices of homes also increased in the past year. More people are moving there and buying property for a good lifestyle. That’s why retirees are selling their homes in this city.”
Prescott Valley-Prescott, Arizona
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List 21.5%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $440,000
Why retirees are selling in this city is somewhat of a mystery as home values have declined 1.1% year over year, according to Redfin. But other sites, such as Rocket Homes, insist that Valley-Prescott is a seller’s market right now.
Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 21.5%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $374,652
“Retirees should decide to sell their house if they have one near Sebastian Vero Beach,” said George Beatty, founder of Problem Property Pals. “It doesn’t even need much marketing since everybody loves a beach house. The exotic landscape is breathtaking, and the right client won’t refuse the deal, no matter how costly it is.”
Plus, the ROI is potentially breathtaking. According to Redfin, the median home sale price in this area has soared 25.3% year over year.
Naples-Marco Island, Florida
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 22.3%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $1,030,000
“Seniors are about 38% to 41% of the population of this market,” said Mark Washburn, Realtor at Naples Condo Boutique. “Over the past decade, Collier County has consistently been ranked as one of the top 10 counties for having the oldest median-aged residents. With this high percentage of seniors/retirees living here, it makes a perfect sense that our market would be in the top 10 for retirees selling. I don’t believe that there are any factors other than simple market demographics driving this percentage of senior sellers in Collier County.”
Homosassa Springs, Florida
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 22.8%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $310,000
“Neither short-term nor long-term investment has a good opportunity for retirees around this city,” Raymond said. “The prices are falling along with the average home sales as well. The sooner they sell, the higher will be the profit around the area.
“Last month the average median home price was $193,000. The price has gone down by 44.5% within a year. Even though the properties are selling faster — on average within 16 days — the owners have to sell at least 2% lower than the asking price. The number may go even higher.”
Punta Gorda, Florida
Percentage of Properties Predicted to List: 22.9%
Median Sale Price in December 2022: $422,595
The average sale price of a home in Punta Gorda was around $424,000 in January, up 12.3% since last year, according to Redfin, which means that retirees could make a nice profit on their homes if they sell now. This city is hailed as a heaven on Earth for fishermen, boaters and sunbathers.
Editor’s note: Median sale prices in December 2022 were all courtesy of Redfin, updated as of Feb. 8, 2023.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Why Retirees Are Expected To Sell Their Homes in These 10 Cities