Millennials are renting in the U.S., but they are not alone. The age distribution of renters across the U.S. has widened, as baby boomers downsize and millennials choose renting over homeownership. The former is quickly outpacing the latter. Between 2009 and 2015, the renting population of seniors 55 years old or over increased 28%.
Multifamily owners are also noticing another trend. After moving in, retirees and young renters want to stay put. Almost 90% of Americans expressed a desire to age in place, according to a survey from the AARP Public Policy Institute. While this has long been a popular choice among homeowners, apartment buildings have also started to accommodate the widening demographic of renters flooding the market.
Bachelors, new families and retirees want to occupy the same types of spaces, but those spaces are not always designed with all ages in mind. Buildings offering stainless steel appliances and a gym are valueless if tenants cannot use amenities comfortably.
Long-term tenants create an opportunity for stable rent rolls. For multifamily owners looking to attract and retain baby boomer and millennial renters, universal design offers a way for city dwellers to age in place without sacrificing style, safety or convenience.