Renters Living Alone Dominate Unit Demand within the Baby Boomer and Senior Age Segment
Small property unit demand from the boomer-senior age group is dominated by renters living alone, calling closer attention to property-level upgrades.
Boomer-Senior Unit Demand in Small Properties
In our recent blog, baby boomer and senior households (householder age 60-years and over) are presented as accounting for a greater share of demand within small asset multifamily. This blog will dig deeper into this age segment and examine the household types1 forming this demand.
The latest information from the 2016 Census ACS indicates that a whopping 70% of all baby boomer and senior householders in small asset properties lived alone2. This can be compared to an even higher 80% share in amenity-rich large asset properties.
Older households without children, including empty nesters, formed the second largest group in small asset properties, accounting for 22% of households. This was only slightly higher compared to large apartment buildings, and half that of single-family homes.
The share of boomer families with children was significantly higher at 9% in single-family homes, compared to less than 4% in small properties, and only 1% in large apartment buildings.
Segments Showing Marginal Share Changes
While single-renter households form the largest contingent of boomer and senior demand by far, a distributional analysis in 2016 and 2014 reveals a marginal shift within this asset class towards non-traditional living arrangements.
Though apartment shares have been historically unpopular with baby boomer and senior renters, this non-family segment gained 54 basis points (bps) in its overall share from 2014 to 2016, as shown below.
Conversely, single-renter households show a share decline of 59 bps in small apartment properties between 2014 and 2016. This can be compared against a gain of close to 40 bps in large apartment buildings.
With single renters forming the largest boomer-senior group in small properties, marginal changes in recent years should not alter the overall demand story, which suggests that small asset property managers and operators should pay close attention to property-level upgrades that facilitate accessibility, movement, and convenience for older renters.
1 Household composition and living arrangement
2 All data is sourced from the American Community Survey (ACS), unless otherwise stated. ACS statistics are sample-based estimates of the compositional profile of the total population in the given year of data collection, and include a margin of error.