According to recent surveys from the U.S. Census Bureau, home ownership is on the rise in many major cities, in response to a steep increase in rental costs — but despite this trend, one major demographic seems to more interested in renting homes and apartments than ever before.
A recent U.S. News and World Report article states that Baby Boomers (the generation born roughly between 1945 and the early 1960s) are beginning to sell their homes, after decades of owning their own houses, in favor of rental properties. The article notes that data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, a program which evaluates national homeowner spending trends, has shown a sharp increase, from 2004 to 2013, in the number of homes rented by adults ages 50 to 75.
The reasons behind this trend are fairly straightforward and predictable, even though Baby Boomers have traditionally favored the stability of homeownership more than other generations currently do. As the U.S. News report states, Baby Boomers are finding that rental properties come with significantly fewer responsibilities and surprise costs than home ownership does, and several advantages.
However, it should be noted that the increased interest in rental homes, lofts and apartments has actually contributed to higher rental prices, especially in major metropolitan areas. A recent Business Insider article has noted that only a handful of cities, including Chicago and New Orleans, are seeing “a glut of rental properties.”
On a national scale, however, it appears that consumers are now in a better position to buy a house as long as they’re able to afford the 10% down payment. The housing data company RealtyTrac has even found that a three-bedroom house is cheaper than a “comparable property” in 76% of U.S. counties today.
“According to a recent report by RentJungle, the average apartment rent over the prior 6 months in Philadelphia has increased by 19% and we’re seeing a mix of Baby Boomers, graduate students and millennials driving the rental interest, especially in the luxury apartments space,” explains Svetlana Mosyurova, Marketing Director, Post Brothers Apartments in Philadelphia.