Real Estate

Rental listing service reports Baby Boomers leaving homeownership in droves

Boomer renting population surges 28%

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that it is actually not Millennials who are pouring into the rental market, but Baby Boomers, according got the latest report from RENTCafé, a nationwide internet listing service that enables renters to find apartments and houses for rent throughout the U.S.

As it turns out, Baby Boomers are entering the renter market in droves. The latest trend in renting is seniors aged 55 or older, highly educated and with no children living at home. In other words, empty nesters.

The report explains it is unclear why Baby Boomers are suddenly turning to renting, but some factors could include a change in lifestyle, consequences of the housing crash or an inability to downsize due to lack of affordable homes.

Just how many Boomers are embracing the renter lifestyle? From 2009 to 2015, the percentage of the renting population over 55 years surged 28%. For comparison, the increase of rental households for those ages 34 or younger during that same period was 3%.

The interactive chart below shows the increase for in rental population from 2009 to 2015 by age group, education and family type.


Nationwide, senior renter households jumped by nearly 2.5 million from 2009 to 2015, the largest increase of any age group. Millennials saw an increase of just over 500,000 renters, the chart below shows.


But as Baby Boomers downsize, they are still sticking with their suburban lifestyle. While the Urban areas did see an increase in renters aged 55 and older, the largest spike was seen in the suburbs.


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