Owning a home isn’t as popular as it used to be. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials who currently rent all express less enthusiasm for owning a home than they did just a few years ago, according to a recent survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.  The share of millennial renters who want to own a home fell to 18 percent last year, down from 40 percent in 2016.  That trend held for older Americans, as well.

In fact, a growing share of renters say they have “no interest in ever owning a home,” including an eye-popping 42 percent of Baby Boomers.  That represents a huge spike from the 23 percent who expressed that view in 2016.  And the share of Gen Xers who held that view more than doubled.  These survey results help explain why more Americans are renting single-family homes.

In recent years, there has been a shift in the demographics of who leases a home.  From families wanting to be closer to good schools to grandparents looking to simplify their lives to people who just don’t want the burden of a mortgage or a home to maintain – more and more Americans are finding renting to be the best housing option for their families.

These shifting preferences bode well for the future of our industry, with the population of the Baby Boomer generation holding strong at around 72 million, while the rental-seeking Millennial generation consists of about 73 million people that will soon reach the age of the typical Invitation Homes resident.

Profile of an Average Invitation Homes Resident

So, who does rent a home in America today?  The answer may surprise you.  At Invitation Homes, we are proud to provide affordable and high-quality housing through our 80,000 homes in 17 cities across the United States.  Our residents are a diverse group of Americans with a common interest in living in a home and community that meets their lifestyle needs. Although there is no such thing as a “typical” renter, our average head-of-household resident might confound traditional stereotypes about who rents a home:

  • Average age of about 40 years old

  • 71% are 30-54 years old

  • 60% have one or more children at home

  • 56% have a family pet

  • 49% have a college or higher education

  • Average household income of $100,000 a year

Our residents also stay in their homes longer than a typical apartment renter.  On average, Invitation Homes residents remain in their homes for about three years, twice as long as the typical renter in a multi-family apartment or condo unit.  In addition, our residents renew their leases about 70 percent of the time.  That loyalty contradicts the image of the transient renter.  It also underscores how much this growing population of single-family home renters value quality homes in quality neighborhoods and the consistent service Invitation Homes provides.

Shifting Demographics of Who Leases a Home

Invitation Homes residents reflect the broader shift in renters nationally.  According to a recent Pew Research Center analysis , more U.S. households are renting than at any point over the last 50 years.  This increase is due in part to new populations finding renting to be their best, most affordable housing option.  Other data proves the point, showing that more older adults, families with children, and high-income households are renting rather than buying:  

  • According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2011 and 2017, the number of Baby Boomers-led households increased by 40% with more than 3.7 million senior households becoming renters during that timeframe. Empty-nest Baby Boomers have a variety of reasons to rent, and they’re embracing  this lifestyle in droves.

  • More young families are also choosing to rent. Census Bureau data shows that, between 2011 and 2017, the number of rental households with children increased by 3%.  The reasons for this vary, but studies generally suggest that factors include affordability and proximity to good schools.

  • Finally, more high-income Americans are renting. RENTCafé recently noted that more than 1.3 million households making $150,000 or more annually became renters between 2007 and 2017.  This represents a 175% increase.  These renters may find that leasing a home provides greater flexibility and offers them benefits that other housing options don’t, like being closer to work.

Americans are increasingly looking to live life on their own terms, and as American’s premier home leasing company we work every day to provide the quality choices and flexibility to meet their needs.

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