More older adults choosing renting over buying

By Kelly Leighton | Mar. 20, 2019 | 2 min. read

It turns out Generation Z and millennials aren’t the only ones who are signing apartment leases these days.

Renters over the age of 60 have risen 43 percent over the past decade, according to a recent report from RentCafe. This jump in growth has surpassed younger generations’ gains significantly. In the past 10 years, renters under the age of 34 have increased only 7 percent, while homeowners that age have decreased 19 percent. For those aged 35 to 59, renters have risen 17 percent, and owners have dropped 12 percent over the past decade. Those over 60 have also seen homeownership rates increase by 31 percent, more so than other ages, but still behind rent growth.

The median age of renters is 42, while the median age of owners is 56, however, with more older people choosing to rent, these numbers may change, with 9.37 million people over 60 signing leases instead of deeds over the past 10 years. The report predicts that the percentage of renters over 60 will continue to increase over the next 15 years. By 2035, the majority of renters are expected to be between 35 and 59 at 43 percent, while those 60 and older will represent 31 percent. Surprisingly, those under 34 are only expected to make up 27 percent.

In Philadelphia, the number of adults over 60 who rent increased 33 percent in the past 10 years. That age bracket represents 21 percent of renters, or 64,588 people in the city. Pittsburgh saw a smaller increase of older adults renting, only 18.6 percent of the total renter population is over 60, the majority of renters are under 34. Meanwhile, in Allentown, 31.3 percent of all renters are over 60, the majority of renters are aged 35 to 59.

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