The Wall Street Journal reports on how retiring boomers are choosing to relocate among the young and hip:

Hip urban neighborhoods are aging, as a growing chunk of adults in their 50s and 60s and older give up their longtime homes and head for trendy condos. The invasion of older, moneyed buyers has “created a gold rush” in some of these areas, says Dean Jones of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in Seattle. Mr. Jones’s firm sold 34 condominium penthouses and luxury town homes for more than $1 million in downtown Seattle neighborhoods between March and October of 2012—a large percentage to baby boomers. It was a 40% increase over the same period a year earlier.

And then the irony:

In some cases, as the older, more affluent baby boomers—typically defined as
born between 1946 and 1964—move to these neighborhoods, younger residents are
starting to move out to avoid rising prices and the growing number of older
folks. Mr. Jones in Seattle says it used to take about 10 years for the hipsters
to get priced out of a neighborhood they pioneered—now they are moving out after five.

Full article here.
And then there’s this: How many critics of gentrification are actually gentrifiers themselves?


  1. Are we surprised? What teenager wants to stay at a party after his parents show up? They start changing the music, insisting on having the expensive whiskey, …

  2. Hipsters are seldom the pioneers they think they are. Remember, many of the so-called “older boomers” were also the hippie generation who, before the back-to-the-land movement took root, were to be found in the densest – and cheapest – parts of inner cities. Usually jostling with and ultimately displacing minority residents by outpricing them, like in the Haight-Ashbury.
    And so the cycle continues.

  3. Perhaps the younger generation(s), need to understand that boomers are leading in this way: they don’t want to live in a community that’s entirely retired folks, people their age. Really, multi-generational communities are healthier.
    But admittedly this is stereotyping boomers as all having a ton of money (there’s enough just struggling along or lead very simple basic lives in terms of consumables)…they just want to live unrestricted by age in any community that meets their long term needs.

  4. Jean – great comment. One of the wonderful things about living in a smaller community like a Gulf Island is that there isn’t the dratted soul-deadening ageism and strtification that urban areas seem to suffer from, as noted in the lead posting. A rich intergenerational community life benefits both the really young (children), their parents and older folks as well.

  5. As for other article on gentrification, there is always the assumption that gentrification means the property value of a neighbourhood goes up and hence, “appears” to push out long-standing poorer residents/owners? I guess that must be part of the base criteria.
    Gentrification is in the eye of the beholder or resister. For those who may not “fit” the hip, wealthier /more educated, sometimes it’s just better to ignore the composition of the gentrified neighbourhood and just buy/live if one can afford it in the neighbourhood. Just be a good neighbour and to heck with what they think of you based on your income /race / ethnicity. Otherwise nothing good will change for the neighbourhood community.
    My high school educated parents like their gentrified neighbourhood in midtown Toronto..after moving from a suburb in an Ontario city. Bike path route, parkette, school across the street, big grocery store at corner, cafes down the street and 5 min. walk to transit. They’re not part the café crowd at all. But to them, it’s peaceful, nice and convenient to all amenities. What more can they ask? Do they care about the neighbours’ income, race, etc. composition? No.
    But I get it….maybe it’s their gentrified, university educated adult children that makes it psychologically easier. 🙂
    Never judge ‘gentrified’ as bad or not possible for those who normally get “pushed” out.

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