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Florida, Arizona poised for surge of home buying baby boomers

Published Dec. 29, 2014

Times Staff Writer

Three Florida metros are among the top 10 markets likely to see an influx of baby boomer home buyers, the National Association of Realtors predicts.

Tampa Bay didn't make the top cut, but it isn't far behind.

Fort Myers, Orlando and Sarasota all rank in the top 10 among attractive markets for aging home buyers, according to research released Wednesday by the Realtors' group. Boise, Idaho, and Raleigh, N.C., were standouts. Rounding out the top group, which were not ranked in order, were Albuquerque, N.M.; Denver; Greenville, S.C.; Phoenix; and Tucson, Ariz.

Tampa was included in a next-tier group of five other markets "with strong potential."

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun starts with the premise that an improving economy and rebounding home prices is giving boomers more latitude to sell their homes and move away.

Not all the boomers are in search of retirement meccas. An increasing number of older workers want to stay engaged in the labor market past their 65th birthday, and they're looking for cities that have a dynamic local economy, adequate housing supply, lower cost of living and sunnier weather, Yun said.

Put that criteria together and it pushes states like Florida and Arizona toward the top of boomers' wish lists.

Yun's research examined current population trends, housing affordability and local economic conditions in 100 metros already known for lower state taxes, growth and solid job markets.

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