LAS VEGAS (National Association of Home Builders) – A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Metlife Mature Market Institute revealed what consumers age 55 and older are looking for in a home.

 The data, which was presented this week at the International Builders’ Show, uncovered a strong similarity in housing preferences between consumers in the 55- to 64-year-old age group and those in the 65 and older group. However, there were exceptions.

 The younger age group showed more interest in technology-heavy features, while the older group expressed a stronger preference for single-story floor plans or ones with first-floor master bedrooms and a variety of universal design features.

 According to John Migliaccio, director of research with MetLife Market Institute, one striking difference had to do with the desire for home services and community services.

 “Very telling is that the younger group reported enthusiastically that they want services like home maintenance and repair as part of their next home purchase, along with services typically connected to older homeowners, such as housekeeping, onsite health care and transportation,” he said.

 Paul Emrath of NAHB pointed out that the share of households that will want lower maintenance housing is large and growing larger as baby boomers age. He cautioned that the current financial situation has led to sharply decreased construction of communities that serve the market. Without a chance in the availability of capital for development and construction, there could well be a shortage of such housing when it is most needed.