Older, wealthier Americans are the new renters

They can afford to buy homes. They just don’t want to.

That is the growing sentiment among older, wealthier Americans, who are now downsizing from big suburban homes and increasingly turning to the rental market.

The number of higher-income rental households has doubled in the last decade, according to a new report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, and that trend will likely increase in the coming years as more baby boomers downsize.

“I think it reflects a change in attitude coming out of the housing crash and a greater appreciation for the virtues of renting,” said Chris Herbert, managing director of the JCHS. “There had certainly been a bias toward owning being a better choice, and that is something people are weighing more carefully now.”

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