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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

August 15, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Meet Seattle’s newest hipsters: Mom and dad

Hipsters with hip replacements: Retirees increasingly attracted to downtown living (Photo: Wikimedia)

Hipsters with hip replacements? Baby boomers are moving into Seattle’s trendiest neighborhoods. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Move over, Amazonians.  There’s a new group in town staking claim to Seattle’s trendiest neighborhoods — and they’re the same age as your parents.

Welcome the baby boomers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in Seattle and a few other cities, realtors and developers have noticed a new trend: There’s been an uptick in boomer-age folks buying high-end condos in hip, urban neighborhoods — areas typically populated by a much younger demographic.

But the boomers want in.

Their kids are grown and the suburbs seem a bit, well, boring. They don’t feel old so why should they act old?

Moving to a 55-plus community next to a golf course is the last thing on their minds. They’d rather be in a happening neighborhood, living elbow-to-elbow with the tattooed and tech-savvy.

The Journal reports that these folks don’t mind being the oldest people in their condo building.  On the contrary, they feel energized by living in close proximity with younger generations.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Analysis of data confirms that Seattle is indeed a top destination for condo-dwelling boomers.

Among the nation’s largest metro areas, Seattle ties for the fifth-highest percentage of boomer-age folks living in condominiums, according to market data from Scarborough Research.

And demographic data show an influx of affluent boomers to Seattle’s city center. In downtown and the adjacent neighborhoods, there are now more than 1,700 households age 55-69 with incomes over $100,000 — and that number is projected to increase by 34 percent over the next five years, according to data from Experian.

It remains to be seen how this injection of gray will affect Seattle’s youth-oriented neighborhoods. But here’s one way to look at it: If you’re less than thrilled with the changes taking place on Capitol Hill, Belltown or South Lake Union, you can do the same thing you did as a teenager: blame your parents — they might be living next door.

0 Comments | More in Demographics, Market Research | Topics: baby boomers, condominiums, real estate

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