Baby-Boomers Impact on the Apartment Industry

The renter segment aged 55 and over increased by 28 percent, while renters under 34 years of age increased by only 3 percent between 2009 and 2015.

Source: RentCafé
Source: RENTCafé

The renting population is changing faster than ever, but a particular shift that’s been happening in recent years is bound to cause some waves in the multifamily industry. Older renters are the fastest growing renter age group in the U.S., reveals a new renter profile analysis conducted by Rent Café, and the reasons behind it paint a portrait of today’s real estate market.

A breakdown of the most recent census data shows that the renter segment aged 55 and over increased by 28 percent, while renters under 34 years of age increased by only 3 percent between 2009 and 2015. In total, the country now has 2.5 million additional senior households who rent their home, a number that’s hard to ignore. Moreover, these older renters prefer the suburbs a lot more than the cities. Suburban senior renters grew by as much as 39 percent, while urban senior renters by 21 percent during that time period, according to RENTCafé.

Why are more and more Baby-Boomers renting? Their motivation stems from the new realities in today’s real estate market: increasing home prices, high maintenance costs, high property taxes, a shortage of affordable homes for sale to downsize, and the appeal of a new rental community concept that delivers a comfortable, maintenance-free, quality lifestyle. But rental communities catering to retirees are yet to take off, as this segment is still underserved.

In some markets, there’s tremendous potential to capitalize on these changes. In Riverside, Calif. senior renter households increased by 63 percent, in Tampa, Fla. by 61 percent and in Phoenix, Ariz. by 59 percent. In fact, in all the top 20 largest U.S. metros the rise in the older renter population is outpacing renters in younger age groups.