Why Older Renters Make Good Prospects for Senior Housing

In the event that they’d move, America’s older renters are much more likely to rent again than to buy—which could bode well for the rent-heavy senior housing industry. Added to that, the proportion of renters who say they are likely to relocate to a retirement community is greater than the proportion who plan to move in with an adult child.

Among current American renters 55 years old or older who would consider moving, 7 in 10 would plan to rent their next residence, according to a report prepared for Freddie Mac by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. 

The aim of the report, which surveyed 911 renters who are 55 years old or older, was to examine older Americans’ attitudes toward their current and future housing arrangements and to provide thought leadership on the housing-related issues they may experience as they near retirement, or during their retirement years.


The most common moving-related life change that retired respondents had already experienced was moving closer to children, grandchildren or other family members, the survey reveals.

Among respondents who have yet to retire, the most frequent housing-related item that all types of renters predict will happen when they retire is that they will live in their current residence for the remainder of their lives. Multifamily renters were the most likely group surveyed to say they’ll probably move into a retirement community.

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Just less than half—44%—of silent generation multifamily renters plan to live in their current residences for the rest of their lives, while only 24% of “younger boomers” plan to age in place. Forty percent of Asian Americans and 18% of Hispanics surveyed said they plan to move in with an adult child.

When it comes to where to move next, affordability is the top factor that influenced respondents’ decisions, followed by retirement amenities and the promise of less maintenance.

Of those respondents who said they plan to move within the next four years, most said they will probably continue to rent.

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Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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