Fifty-seven percent of baby boomers plan on moving out of their current home, and 70% believe the house they spend retirement in will be their best one yet, according to a recent survey of 1,000 boomers by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

Not only that, but one in four of the 49- to 67-year-olds surveyed said they’d likely buy a second home, such as a vacation or beach house, to use during retirement. (A benchmark study in 2006 by the National Association of Realtors found that 29% of existing vacation-home owners at that time were older than 65.)

The results reflect increasing confidence among a demographic battered by the recession; many boomers suffered losses in both housing equity and overall wealth, said Sherry Chris, president of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “It’s a very positive turn…the surprising optimism of baby boomers within the housing market,” she said.

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that those who intend to move may never actually do so; a good number of retirees are “aging in place” instead, remaining in their current homes as long as possible.

And it’s also worth noting that the best home a boomer has ever lived in might not be the biggest one, or the most expensive. It’s just more likely to meet their current needs. Today, many home shoppers are looking for the amenities that a property and its surroundings offer them; square footage is often a lesser concern, Chris said.

That said, some boomers are downsizing their space but not their home’s value. “People are buying lifestyle and community, and would rather have a ski chalet in Aspen that is small rather than a huge home that no one is living in, in a community somewhere,” Chris said.

Other findings from the report:

Despite countless tales of boomerang kids and their enabling parents, 83% surveyed for this report said they don’t expect a family member to move into their home in the future, and say that any house guests would be temporary.

Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said if they ever were to move, they’d most likely move to a rural community, such as a farm or small town. Meanwhile, 27% said they’d move to an exclusive 55+ community and 26% said they’d move to a metropolitan city.

Seventy-two percent of survey participants said they’d retire in the same state they’re living in now.

Source: MarketWatch