Renters are looking a little older these days.
Rental applicants tend to conjure up images of recent college grads looking to start their life in the real world. But Millennials are being joined as renters by people who have already spent decades in adulthood, and may have better credit and higher income.
Since 2005, there has been an uptick in renters, with people in their 50s and 60s making up the largest chunk of the increase.
In fact, the majority of all renters are currently 40 or older.
There are many reasons that the renter population includes a growing number of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers.
The 2008 housing collapse that led to a wave of foreclosures has turned some people off to homeownership. The tight credit market can also hinder renters from securing a home loan.
Plus, not everyone wants to be a homeowner in their golden years, and the decision to trade a mortgage for a lease is about a new lifestyle, especially for empty-nesters.
Seniors are leaving their homes and renting in a much more urban-type settings from the suburbs to be part of the activities and be mixed in with people of all ages. It gives them something to do if the kids are gone, or their spouses.
The amenities that come in new rental buildings and their units are appealing to older renters. They have everything they need in their building.
Renting also gets rid of the responsibilities that come with home ownership, which can become burdensome as owners age.
It's about portability. They want to travel and don't want to be burdened by house payments and expenses and upkeep.
Some older homeowners are also cashing in on the recent rise in home prices.
They want to take advantage of getting equity out of their home now, and not wait until they actually retire to move into the city and get a cool apartment.