It’s no secret that most young people choose to rent rather than buy. After all, millennials are likely to travel for job opportunities, prioritize green lifestyles, and their high student debt is a huge barrier to entering the home purchasing market. This generation has been dubbed “Generation Rent,” and (actually) prefers to save a buck by not only renting their homes but by renting everything, from cars to clothing to lamps. However, it’s not just “the youths” who are flocking to rental units. Renters over 60 — the baby-boomers once defined by stable homeownership— are opting out of the idyllic American Dream of frolicking in the acres of land attached to a paid-off home and deciding to spend their golden years in a rental.
According to Rentcafé, older renter households have increased faster than older household owners –43% versus 31%. Renters over 60 are expected to make up over a quarter of the renting market in 2025, and, in 2035, they’ll make up over a third.
This is great news for agents who deal with, or want to deal with, rental listings. The rates of homeownership have dipped to the lowest levels we’ve ever seen. Now is the time to start building rentals into your business plan and learning about the types of people who rent. Your lead could be anyone— from a member of Gen Z just entering into the real estate market to a Baby Boomer looking for a chic bachelorette pad. Let’s explore what’s causing this trend–the Rental Beast team has investigated why so many over-sixties are renting.
They can afford the rising rental prices
Rental prices are on the rise, especially in cities like Boston, New York, and San Francisco. The least expensive of this triad is Boston, where the average rent for July of 2019 was a whopping $3,111, with prices in neighborhoods like the Back Bay reaching a steep $3,400. Check out why it’s so darn expensive here, and what you can rent from the Rental Beast database here.
However, these pricey places also happen to be where many renters over sixty want to relocate. And, many can afford it. Baby Boomers, generally, make more than members of Generation X and the millennial generation. Many renters in their sixties are well-settled into their careers and able, and willing, to dish out a high fee for a pricy apartment in the center of the action. Their impact is being felt— the rental market has seen both an increase in renters’ average level of education and average income.
On the other hand, renters over 60 might have economic restrictions
Renting still makes a lot of financial sense for many who are over sixty but not raking in the big bucks (or find themselves hoping to save some extra cash). While rents might fetch a high price in big cities where single-family homes are scarce, this is not always the case. And, many renters in their sixties find themselves with credit scores that just aren’t robust enough to enter the sales market. Sticking with a rental is a realistic alternative.
It’s not downsizing; it’s rightsizing.
Let’s get rid of the term “downsizing” and replace it with something a little more positive. Maybe this new term, “rightsizing,” is more apt to describe the choices older generations makes they have a big life change, like their children leaving home or the death of a loved one. When re-evaluating what home makes the most sense, a suburban family home doesn’t always cut it. Boomers could float around in a house with extra bedrooms still decked out in posters from the kids’ teen years… or, they could opt for a more conservative rental with a guest-room.
Increased quality of rental units
When someone says “rental,” maybe you get a nasty image. Maybe you’re thinking peeling paint and a thriving roach population. Maybe you’re thinking of a dark basement with no windows and ratty carpets. While we’re sure there’s still a bunch of basement apartments and pests out there, it’s time to adjust how we think of rentals. Today, many landlords outfit their apartments with stainless steel appliances, open floor plans, and wood flooring throughout. To keep apartment buildings desirable and to woo potential clients, landlords need to keep their apartments looking stylish. Elevators and in-building amenities like laundry, a 24/7 fitnesses center, or a concierge, are especially important for renters over sixty, who enjoy an increased level of ease and accessibility. Importantly, if something breaks, they’re not on the hook to fix it.
Moving up, moving on.
Maybe it’s time to move up and move on. Renting allows for greater flexibility and movement. Deciding to move into a big city rental allows many Baby Boomers to stay close to amenities like clothing stores, museums, world-class theatre, and historical centers. Renting a comfortable apartment in Manhattan might have been out of reach for a while; however, renters over 60 might decide to check big city living off their bucket list. As a bonus, they can live in the same urban areas as their millennial children and meet up for impromptu coffee and chats.
Rental Beast helps you take advantage of these low rates of homeownership and high number of renters over 60 and makes renting profitable and straightforward.
Our database contains seven million (and counting!) Rental listings not found on the MLS, and a suite of powerful tools designed to help keep you organized, productive, and efficient.
Rental Beast makes it easy both to mine your current sphere of influence and gets new, warm rental leads. Agents can syndicate Rental Beast listings to Craigslist, and Facebook with just a few clicks, and our partnerships with realtor.com, Facebook, and other popular websites allow us to post our listings to millions of social media users and apartment hunters. Whether you get the word out on a listing, or we share it for you on Facebook Marketplace, all leads are sent directly back to you.
Ready to unleash the Beast? To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.