Millennials get most of the press when it comes to the nation’s multifamily market, with young adults choosing to rent longer in such markets as Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Lexington and Detroit. But new research from RENTCafe suggests that another generational group is fueling the multifamily market, too, Baby Boomers.
RENTCafe recently analyzed Census data to discover that a new kind of renter is providing a boost to the multifamily market, renters over the age of 55 who are highly educated and with no children in the household. These renters aren’t choosing urban markets, either. RENTCafe found that their preference is to rent in the suburbs.
RENTCafe says that there could be many reasons why so many empty-nester Baby Boomers are choosing to rent. They might be struggling to downsize to a traditional single-family home because there is a general lack of affordable properties available. Others might not want to buy again because their previous homes lost value during the housing crash. Others might simply be looking for the largely maintenance-free lifestyle provided by renting.
Whatever the reason, RENTCafe says that Baby Boomers are now a key generation for the multifamily market.
According to the company’s research, between 2009 and 2015, the percentage of the renting population 55 years or older jumped by an impressive 28 percent. That’s a far bigger increase than the 3 percent jump in renters age 34 or younger during the same time.
RENTCafe found, too, that renter households with no children saw the most significant percentage increase when looking at family type, up by 21 percent from 2009 through 2015.
Most interest, though, are the sheer number of older renters in the market. RENTCafe said that the number of senior renter households increased by 2.5 million between 2009 and 2015, the largest net increase of any age group.