Rental Boom

Austin booms with nation's biggest spike in renters above 60 years old

Austin booms with nation's biggest spike in renters above 60 years old

Happy first time home buyers
Renting is not just a thing you do in your 20s. Photo via duol.hu

Move aside, millennials. Baby boomers are leading a rise in apartment rentals in Austin. Among the country’s 30 largest cities, Austin saw the biggest spike in the share of renters age 60 and older, soaring 113 percent between 2007 and 2017.

Those numbers come from a new report published by RentCafé. Despite those enormous increases, seniors accounted for just 12 percent of renters in Austin (almost 25,000 households) in 2017, the report shows.

Fort Worth saw the third biggest spike in the share of renters age 60 and older, increasing 95 percent (to almost 21,000) between 2007 and 2017, and in Dallas, the share of 60-and-over renters grew 62 percent (to almost 44,000), putting it at No. 6 for growth among the largest cities. In Houston, the share of older renters jumped 61 percent (to more than 73,000), and the number of renters in the age group increased 59 percent (to more than 37,000) for the same 10-year period in San Antonio.

In a separate report, rental platform SpareRoom says the number of people 50 and over living with roommates is growing at nearly twice the rate of any other age group. About 90 percent of renters 50 and over say they live with roommates to save money.

“People think of apartment sharing as a young person’s game, but that’s no longer the case,” Tom MacThomas, SpareRoom’s U.S. general manager, says in a release. "The over-50s might not be the biggest group of roommates, but they’re definitely the fastest-growing.”

“There are two main reasons for this, but both have their roots in affordability,” MacThomas adds. “Rents have risen far more over the past decade than salaries. That means some people are lifelong renters, while another group are coming back to sharing, or even sharing for the first time, in their 50s. It’s a trend we see continuing well into the next decade, if not further ahead.”