The circle-of-life stereotype is that young people pour into cities after college as they make their mark and start a career, then flee to the suburbs to raise their families, and then head somewhere resort-y in later years to kick back and enjoy glorious weather.
In NYC, for instance, the number of older renters is outstripping the ranks of Millennials.
But statistically speaking, that’s no longer the case. There’s been an uptick in the number of older Americans putting down roots in urban areas. Only 11 percent of age 50-something buyers closed on homes in urban areas and central cities, according to a 2015 National Association of Realtors® report. But one year later, the figure had edged up to 13 percent. Not a huge jump, but when you consider how vast the Boomer generation is (there are almost 75 million of us, born between 1946 and 1964), even a percentage point can have a big impact.
In New York City, for instance, the number of older renters is outstripping the ranks of Millennials. In 2017, renters who were age 60 or older made up 27 percent of the urban center’s rental population, which represents a whopping 20 percent boost over the previous decade, according to RENTCafé’s analysis of American Community Survey data from the United States Census Bureau.
The Allure of City Life
Why are more people looking to live amid a concrete jungle instead of by the shore? It seems that the rich cultural environment of the city is one factor. Retired nursing professor Connie Vance, 79, told the New York Times that she loved her move from the suburbs to the city: “We’re in the middle of a very dynamic setting, which is accessible just by walking out the door.” A realtor was also quoted as saying that some of the age 60-plus renters were divorced or widowed and looking to start over in a hip neighborhood.
Convenience is another factor. No driving, no long distances to get anywhere, and no home maintenance, because who wants to sweat the bill for a roof repair or worry about getting the lawn mowed?
So tell us: Where do you want your future to unfold: Country, city, or somewhere in between?