America's Baby Boomer generation that helped fuel record levels of home ownership is now selling off those properties in favor of apartments, driving a new trend.

According to a new housing report, 11.8 million Americans 55 and older have moved into apartments, a surge of three million since 2007, and a separate Harvard University report said that those 50 and older were the biggest group of renters in the last decade.

"Our data shows that the population of Baby Boomer renters increased by 34% from 2007-2014, reaching 11.8 million renters in 2014," said the report from Apartment List.

"Rental properties are finding that many Boomers are actually selling their homes in favor of renting apartments," added the report.

Harvard's 2016 State of the Nation's Housing backed that up, reporting that declines in homeownership by boomers is a key driver in new renter households in the last decade.

Boomer renters are drawn to high quality, larger space, and more luxury, said Apartment List.

That report said, "Current Population Survey data indicate that the number of renter households in their 50s and 60s rose by 4.3 million in 2005–2015, driven by both the aging of baby-boomer renters and declines in homeownership rates among this age group. Renter households age 70 and over also increased by more than 600,000 over the decade. Meanwhile, households in their 30s and 40s accounted for 3 million net new renters despite the dip in population in this age group. Households under age 30, however, made up only 1 million net new renters, reflecting the steep falloff in headship rates among the millennial generation following the Great Recession."

After years of cutting grass and making repairs, boomers are being drawn to apartments because they don't require maintenance and they offer a diverse population, said Apartment List.

Their report said that boomers and their wealth are feeding the growth in high-end construction, and they desire amenities like wine refrigerators, chef's kitchens, and nearby stores and restaurants.

They are also seeking long-term leases, not the 1-2 years typical among millennials.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at