More older adults choosing to rent

By Kelly Leighton | Nov. 22, 2017 | 2 min. read

Older renters are taking the marketplace by storm.

According to a recent study from Rent Cafe, in the six year span of 2009 to 2015, renters 55 and older increased by 28 percent, while renters 34 and younger only saw a 3 percent increase, showing that more older adults are turning to renting as a housing option. Nearly 2.5 million senior households became renters in that time period, while only 1.95 million adults aged 35 to 54 signed a lease. Of those older renters, they are more likely to reside in the suburbs (39 percent), but 21 percent choose cities.

The study also found that the amount of renters with an education that included a bachelor’s degree or higher rose 23 percent, and families with no young children who rent increased by 21 percent. Twenty-six percent of renters with a degree chose the suburbs, and 20 percent chose cities. Families with no children were more likely to live in the suburbs as well, at 33 percent, compared to 16 percent in the city.

“Whether driven by a change in lifestyle, a consequence of the housing crash or an inability to find affordable homes to downsize, senior households are embracing renting in droves,” said Rent Cafe’s Nadia Balint.

Not surprisingly, the study found that most older renters were more likely to be residing in California, Florida or Arizona.

Across the top 20 largest metros in the U.S., baby boomers outweighed younger renters. In Philadelphia, the increase of renters under 34 rose 8 percent, compared to 22 percent of those older than 55. Renter families without children increased 13 percent, while those with families rose 4 percent in the city of Philadelphia. In the Philly suburbs, families without children who rent rose 22 percent, while those with children increased 16 percent.

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