Renters over 60 now represent the third largest group of renter households at 22 percent, according to new research from RentCafé.
And the trend is expected to increase. as renters over 60 are the fastest-growing group of renters among all age groups in the last 10 years. With a 43 percent increase, senior renters have outpaced even their fellow homeowners.
Driven by a decline in home ownership, RentCafé researchers’ estimate that by 2035, seniors will make up 31% of the total number of renters, outnumbering Gen Z renters.
Past studies conducted show that the older population is no longer enthusiastic about homeownership, with many seniors starting to downsize and move into rentals. As their children move out, they find themselves alone, often in a big house that costs a lot to maintain. All these factors cause them to rethink their housing choices.
Key findings about renters over 60
- With a 43% increase, renter households over 60 drove the past decade’s surge in renters, greatly outpacing younger age groups.
- When looking at the largest gains, renters over 60 are still in the lead, with 2.81 million households added over the last 10 years.
- Zooming in, at a city level, Austin boasts the highest increase in the share of 60+ renters, 113%, followed by Phoenix (112%) and Fort Worth (95%).
- Think New York City is known only for young and hip millennials? Well, think again. Out of the top 30 largest U.S. cities, the Big Apple has the largest share of senior-renter households, 27%. Thanks to a 10-year growth rate of 20%, this age group managed to outrun even those under 34.
- Projections based on the trend witnessed between 2007 and 2017 predict that the year 2035 will mark a major demographic shift. The share of seniors will cover about one third of the U.S. rental market and will become the second largest group of renter households.
Austin boasts the highest 10-year percentage change in the share of older-renter households
Out of the 30 most populous cities in the United States, 16 experienced an increase of over 40% in the 60+ renter household share between 2007 and 2017.
Austin takes the first place as the city with the highest percentage change in the share of 60+ renter households, increasing by 113% in the 10-year period. Phoenix is also present in this top with the second highest increase of 112%; it’s followed by Fort Worth, with 95%.
The oldest U.S. cities by median age are popular retirement spots
The top 30 oldest cities in the study all have a median age over 39.6 and are mostly retirement cities in Florida, California, or Arizona.
In fact, Florida is home to 12 of the oldest cities, with Cape Coral, first, with a median age of 47.9, followed by Hialeah, with 46.5. In Arizona, sunny Scottsdale is third, with a median age of 46, proving once more its high popularity among retirees in search of warm days and entertainment.
This growing share of older Americans is bound to have an impact on the U.S. real estate market.
This is a cohort of people that witnessed firsthand the impact of the 2007 housing crisis and the re-shaping of the economy, forcing many of them to give up their homeowner status and move into rental properties.
It’s important for developers to acknowledge the particular housing needs of older renters and make sure that they are being met, says RentCafé.
- This report was compiled by RentCafe.com, a nationwide apartment search website. Tenure of occupied housing units by age was obtained from Census ACS 1-year estimates for 2001-2017 at national and city level. Median age by population at U.S and city level was obtained from the same sources. In order to compare data, 3 age groups were created, aggregated from existing age groups and compared resulting data from 2007 & 2017. For this research, more than 300 cities with a population of over 100,000 were analyzed. For the 2035 projection, data was used from Census – American Community Survey 1-year estimates: 2007 to 2017, Households by tenure and Age estimates. The projection on historical trends y-o-y from 2007 & 2017 was done and kept the homeownership rate at 2017 level for each age group. While the future growth in older households is confirmed by other sources, the results should be considered rough estimates and are subjected to change.