Empty Nesters Are Lured to Apartment Life

October 23, 2017

One of the biggest segments of new renters is empty nesters ages 55 and up, as multifamily developers reconsider their original focus on millennials. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters older than 55 increased 28 percent, or 2.5 million—the largest uptick of any age group, according to data from rental listing site RENTCafé. Meanwhile, the number of renters ages 34 and younger rose just 3 percent during the same time period. 

“Lowering living expenses, looking for a different lifestyle, less house-related work, and overall less responsibility can be achieved by downsizing, so a lot of retirees opt to rent,” Simona Solomie, a broker with RE/MAX Masters in Morton Grove, Ill., says about the study’s findings.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean seniors are headed for urban high-rises when seeking apartment life. Nearly 40 percent of renters older than 55 chose a suburban lifestyle, according to RENTCafé. Of the 20 largest metros in the country, the city of Riverside, Calif., has the largest percentage of seniors making up renter households (63 percent). Los Angeles, however, has posted the largest gain in senior renters—about 134,000 between 2009 and 2015.

Source: “The Biggest Game Changers in Renting Are Older, Highly-Educated Renters, and 2.5 Million Stronger,” RENTCafé Blog (Oct. 17, 2017)