In May, Rhino conducted an in-depth study to understand more about the evolving identity of the 110 million renters in America and growing. What we discovered is that millennial renters are getting older, but they keep on renting rather than buying a home. This is causing renters to outpace homebuyers in America.

Here are the most surprising takeaways from our survey of over 5,000 renters: 

  • Renters are starting to get older: 30-45 years in age on average. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the second largest, and fastest growing population of renters (7.3 million householders) are 45-54 years old. 

  • Rhino’s survey found that they were equal parts single and married.

  • Respondents were also from both urban and suburban areas. 

The majority of these renters want to live in single family homes, with occupancy rates of detached single-family homes at an all-time high in 2021. But home prices are also at an all-time high. Still, this isn’t the sole reason to rent instead of buy a single family home. Monthly housing costs are  lower for single-family rentals compared with single-family home purchases. 34% of renters say that they would rather rent than buy a home

So millennial renters are aging, they’re getting married, they’re heading out to the ‘burbs, and renting homes instead of buying them. While you could argue that some can’t afford homeownership, many would prefer never to own a home at all. 

All thanks to a very perceptive rental market. 

20% of all home-buying activity during the current home-buying boom is from investors, who plan on renting them out to aging millennial renters, rather than live in them. And 4.5% of new home construction is being purpose-built for rentals, more than double the historical average. Plus, the rental market is becoming more accessible for all, with policymakers in cities and states trying to lower the cost of renting with more affordable housing options and regulations to manage the tenant-landlord relationship. 

What we are about to see is a nation of renters who are redefining what it means to have a home, rather than just own one.

A headshot image of Jeff Le, VP of Public Policy
Jeff Le

Jeff Le is VP of Public Policy and External Affairs at Rhino, and has spent 17 years advocating for marginalized communities in state and federal government, the nonprofit sector and international organizations. As a lifelong renter, Jeff wants to reduce upfront move-in costs and give American families more meaningful options than outdated security deposits.