People in this age group are collectively expected to pay £9.2 billion in rent this year.
The number of homes rented to people aged over 50 has soared by 61% since 2012.
An estimated 791,580 properties in Great Britain are currently rented by people in this age group, 8% more than in 2018, according to property agent Hamptons International.
The steep increase means silver renters now account for a greater share of the rental market, with around 15% of properties let to people aged over 50, up from just 11% in 2012.
The group estimates that the over 50s will collectively pay £9.2 billion in rent this year – the equivalent of £1 out of every £7 paid by tenants.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said:
“The number of over 50s renting in Great Britain has reached a record high.
“With younger generations much less likely to be homeowners, tenants are getting older, and an ever more diverse group of people are calling the rented sector home.”
Why is this happening?
Housing affordability is likely to be the key factor driving the trend for older renters.
On the one hand, rising property prices are increasing the age at which people purchase their first home, with some unable to get on to the housing ladder at all.
The issue is exacerbated by a reluctance among lenders to advance mortgages with terms that will continue into the borrower’s retirement.
At the same time, a growing number of people find themselves renting again in later life following a divorce.
Despite previously having been homeowners, the high cost of property means it is difficult for divorcees to buy their own place after having to split their assets with their former spouse.
The Hamptons International study found that 48% of silver renters lived alone.
Who does it affect?
The south east has the highest proportion of older renters, with one in five tenants aged over 50, followed by the south west and the north west, both at 16%, and Wales at 15%.
The east of England, London and Yorkshire and Humber had the lowest level of silver renters, but even in these regions, 11% of tenants were aged over 50.
What’s the background?
The study found that nearly a third of people aged over 50 who were renting a home were pensioners.
Not only do they face the issue of paying rent when they are no longer working, but the over 50s also had slightly higher rents than other age groups, paying an average of £1,000 per month, compared with £977 for all age groups.
Nearly half of tenants aged over 50 lived in a two-bedroom property, with 26% living in a three-bedroom home and 19% opting for a one-bedroom one.
Top 3 takeaways
The number of homes rented by people aged over 50 has soared by 61% since 2012
An estimated 791,580 properties in Great Britain are currently rented by people aged over 50, 8% more than in 2018
Silver renters are also accounting for a greater share of the rental market, with around 15% of properties let to people aged over 50, up from just 11% in 2012