Is your rent going up? Blame baby boomers

Ok, so the headline isn't entirely fair, it just feels good to blame boomers for our problems.
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Alert the millennials and Gen-Xers, there's something else to blame baby boomers for.

The years since the financial crisis has seen the cost of rent in the Twin Cities increase considerably, with the average rent in the metro area standing at $1,111 at the end of July.

This was a 3.1 percent increase on the year before and it comes at a time where rental supply is low and demand is high, while developers are building more and more high-end apartment complexes, pushing prices up further.

But while renting is typically considered a young person's game, RentCafe has found that at least some of the increased demand for rental properties in the Twin Cities is being driven by baby boomers.

The comparison site released stats on Thursday showing that in the Twin Cities, the number of renters aged 55 and older increased by 38 percent between 2009 and 2015.

This was the ninth highest increase in senior renters out of America's biggest cities, and it saw an extra 29,000 over-55s entering the rental market during that six-year period.

There was a smaller increase in millennial/Gen-X renters, with the study finding the number of renters under the age of 34 increased by just 9 percent from 2009-15.

It's not to say that boomers are taking over the rental market though. National figures from the National Multifamily Housing Council show that under-30s represent 50 percent of renters, and those aged 30-44 a further 23 percent.

But older citizens – particularly those with university educations and with no children (or adult children that are no longer dependent) – have increasingly been turning to renting during the past decade, RentCafe says.

This is being driven for reasons including a change in lifestyle, a hangover from the housing crash, or an inability to find affordable homes to downsize.

That last reason is particularly relevant, as it's just not rental properties that are in short supply, but a lack of housing stock has pushed home prices in the Twin Cities to record highs.

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors said the median sales price in September was $246,900 – a massive 7.3 percent increase on 2016.

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