Prices per month for Seniors Housing is on the rise. Now 5000 Dollars Plus for One Bedroom Seniors Housing is Common. God forbid you need a two bedroom. Who can afford these insane prices. I know I can’t. Heck, I find it very difficult just coming up with enough money each month for food. Never mind dishing out thousands for rent. So what is going on? I am going to look into this a little deeper and find out why housing for seniors is surging.
First thing I could discover is demand is exploding. Supply and demand has always been the road to higher prices. Apparently is set to rise over the coming years. A slowdown in senior housing construction due to tighter lending and rising construction costs is restricting supply. Rising healthcare costs will also drive prices higher. Inflation risks are also starting to creep into the cost of commodity prices. A first sign of higher prices ahead. All this is quite scary going forward.
Seniors that have significant equity in their millions dollar homes will be fine. These seniors will be first to grab these luxury retirement units especially designed for them. Obviously they were smart and planned accordingly. Also more and more companies are opening up targeted home stay helpers for seniors. These seniors choose to stay in their own homes and helpers come in to aid them. A scary scenario when you have different aids of dubious sources coming into your homes. Should the government take tighter reign on these fly by night companies? I sure hope so.
Seniors are Just Living Longer
One of the most important facts that are going to affect housing demand going forward is seniors are just living longer. Every day you see more and more seniors in their 60s and 70s out hiking, biking, skiing even. All of these seniors are easily projected to live healthily well into their 80s. Let’s hope were some of them. One thing about Canada is we have a fairly good health care system compared to some countries. This fact alone will keep the seniors going a lot longer than their Mom’s and Dad’s.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see many seniors easily passing the 100 mark in the coming years. The strain on housing is going to be cracking at the seams as millions of seniors cash in an look for retirement living. Flush with cash and looking to spend it their will be no break on housing prices going forward. If you don’t have a house to cash in to pay for your retirement then low cost housing is your only option. Or a tent or RV could also be your future. Now can you imagine the long line ups that will be formed to get some of that government housing! Good luck with that my friends.
Mass Development of Box Apartments
Maybe in Canada they will start the mass development of so called Cookie Style Apartments. In the US developers have implemented thousands of these all across the country. In California for example you can walk for miles and miles and see endless rows of these apartments. Boxes built 4, 5 and six stories high. They go on block after block and their all empty! Why are they all empty? Mostly because of the current economic downturn and the high prices of these boxes. Priced well over half a million dollars. That’s American dollars my friends. Of course they are empty now but once the tide of retiree’s starts to grow they will be looking for communities like this. Let’s face it developers are not stupid. They plan ahead.
In Canada I think the government and developers should also follow this path. Huge tracts of land could be opened up and developers could team up and starting building. Cost’s for these box style apartments is lower as each one built is similar to the one before. Maybe a different style paint or floor but all similar keeping cost low. Even though costs are low they still would be expensive due to the reasons stated above. Solutions could be found such as grants for low income retirees to supplement their incomes. I am sure their are a lot of solutions.
Five-over-one buildings are a type of multifamily, mid-rise building. They’re constructed with four or five wood-frame stories building on top of a concrete foundation. This style of building construction became popular in 2009 after a change to the International Building Code. The revision allowed up to five stories of wood-framed construction instead of the previous limitation.
- Cost-Effective. Compared to steel and concrete costs, constructing a podium-style building is much less expensive for the contractors and developers.
- Quicker Construction. The repetitive style makes it easier for construction workers to finish the build efficiently. This keeps projects running on time and allows property owners to start charging rent quicker.
- Sustainable. Because five-over-ones primarily use wood and concrete as construction materials, they’re more eco-friendly than steel.
- Higher Resident Density. This housing design allows more units to be built in a single building, giving property owners more potential rent revenue.
- Easy Material. Wood is much easier to work with than steel or concrete. If contractors make a mistake, it can quickly be fixed. And since working with wood often doesn’t require unionized trade workers, contractors can find labor easier and much cheaper.
Risks for Seniors
Now it all sounds rosy getting yourself a nice little box apartment to retire in. A brand new shiny place to live in. Who doesn’t want that. Perfect for seniors. You could have all kinds of perks if planned properly. Events, health care workers, entertainment and even kitchens built into the plans. There are endless possibilities as the song goes. But, like every easy options there are risks!
First of all any mass production effort of anything comes with their lemons. Worker having a bad day, bad lumber showing up and being used, faulty plumbing. I mean the list could go on and on. Seniors especially are prone to such things as mold or any kind of viruses that could rapidly spread through an environment like this.
PROBLEMS WITH FIVE-OVER-ONES
On the surface, the five-over-one style may seem like the best option for contractors and developers. But being able to build something quickly and cheaply usually doesn’t create the best environment for the people actually living in the buildings. Some common problems five-over-one buildings face include:
- High Fire Risk. The downside to building an entire building with a wooden frame is the increased potential for fires. Many cities have called for stricter fire safety regulations for this style of wood-framed buildings since there have been instances of large fires in five-over-one plans.
- Mold and Mildew Damage. This is a big problem in cities like Seattle that have a rainier climate. Since wood expands and contracts with the weather and the humidity level, wood buildings are prone to cracking. This makes these buildings prone to water damage—and often costing massive amounts in insurance claims and repairs.
- Bland Style. This mass-produced style has led to a homogenized style in cities around the country. Architects and developers have sacrificed unique styles and designs for lower costs and higher tenant density.
Boxes already starting in Canada
I have never even heard of these box style housing projects before. Where i live on the West Coast in Canada. Port Coquitlam exactly such changes are already happening. Last year they starting building all these box style apartments. Hundreds of them. They all look the same and this project is massive. At first I thought they were rentals. Right by the library and close to town. What a great place to retire I thought. Driving by the sales office I noticed these are not rentals. They are for sale and they are not cheap.
How does half a million to start sound. Truly unbelievable. Youg family’s were lined up eager to grab one. Imagine being jammed into one of these tiny boxes with a small little balcony. This seems to be the future and how the younger generations will be raising their families. Yes in tiny little box style apartments. Like in the States these will be sprouting up everywhere to fill the coming housing needs.
So what if your a senior? Well you certainly could grab one of these little boxes and move in. That’s of course if you have half a million. But could you handle the kids, the dogs, the yelling and screaming that will certainly happen. For me I think an RV would be a better solution under a nice bridge somewhere’s.
If they took these box style apartments and targeted them seniors only then it might change one’s perspective. Let’s face it if you moved in with hundred’s of other seniors you would be more at ease. Companionship, affordability, access to near by amenities, the list goes on.
What do you think?