An interesting phenomena is taking place in the rental segment of the housing market. In the past it would be a common assumption that most new rental applications were being made by college grads looking to start their life in the real world. But Millennials are facing increased competition from people who have already spent decades in adulthood, and may have better credit and higher income.  Recently there has been an uptick in renters, with people in their 50s and 60s making up the largest chunk of the increase, according to a recent report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

There are various reasons for the increase in older renters. The 2008 housing collapse that led to a wave of foreclosures has led some people to turn off to homeownership. The tight credit market can also hinder renters from securing a home loan. Also, not everyone wants to be a homeowner when their older, and the decision to trade a mortgage for a lease is about a new lifestyle, especially for empty-nesters. Renting also gets rid of the responsibilities that comes with home ownership, which can become burdensome as owners age. Some older homeowners are also cashing in on the recent rise in home prices. With all the recent financial problems many older Americans are also taking on the “take the money and run” attitude fearing that another housing collapse will cause them to lose their home investment for good.

Plain and simple, times have changed and so has the concept of owning or renting a home. Older Americans are looking more towards enjoying their lives. The amenities that come in new rental buildings and their units are appealing to older renters. New rental communities are designed near shopping and entertainment centers which requires very little in the way of transportation. The older generation is more active and are looking for more to do outside of the home.