RENTCafe tells us that renters 60 years and older in New York City were 27% of the city’s total rental population in 2017. Compare this 27% to just 7% of NYC’s rental population in 2007, according to RENTCafe’s analysis of the American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau.

Senior renters in NYC outnumber senior owners in three of its five boroughs, Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. Senior renters in NYC even outnumber NYC’s under-34 renter demographic by .5%.

This 60+ renter group includes former co-op shareholders waiting to cash out to re-invest elsewhere who also want to remain in the city and suburban empty nesters no longer needing backyards and empty rooms. It also includes those wanting to downsize and reduce time-spent maintenance aggravation.

What does renting mean to this demographic? Freedom and flexibility…no more having to fix/repair things that don’t work and no more having to stay put for a mortgage or because your house didn’t sell.

According to Laurie Zucker, vice chairman of Manhattan Skyline, a property development and management company, “We’re seeing people in their 60’s who are divorced and wanting to start their lives over in a young, hip neighborhood.”

“Now you have Uber and Lyft so the outer boroughs are no longer isolated,” said Kathy Braddock, managing director with William Raveis New York. “Also, when you look at the costs of owning a home and cars and the cost of insurance, (living in New York) is not always as unobtainable as you think.”

As far as living in smaller spaces than co-ops or suburban homes, NYC rentals have neighborhood near gyms, on-site theaters, libraries, game rooms, lounges and dining rooms that residents can reserve for large gatherings. Also neighborhood near are laundries, take-outs and worlds of music, theater and museums within walking distance.