Renter households appear increasingly willing to stay as such, per Freddie
Mac. The company has released results
from its latest renter survey, conducted in March showing that 59 percent of
renters surveyed said they plan to rent when they next move, a 4-percentage
point increase from the last survey, conducted in September 2016. Those living in suburban households showed
the largest shift on this question, at 57 percent, up from 48 percent. It will disappoint many that the share of Millennials
who plan to continue renting rose from 64 percent to 73 percent, although the
intent to purchase rose slightly among the older Millennials.
Living in apartment complexes, small or large, appears to be losing
appeal. Renters expressing either as their
choice for their next move fell a combined 7 points since the last survey,
while those preferring a single-family house or a condo rose an aggregate of 3
Respondents have growing confidence in their financial situation with 41
percent saying they now have enough money to last beyond each payday, up from
34 percent in September. The percentage
of those saying they don't have enough income to cover essentials fell from 20
percent to 14 percent. The greatest increase
in financial comfort was expressed by those in rural households, up from 27
percent to 46 percent and by Baby Boomers who posted a 10-point increase to 48
This rising confidence is not reflected in renters' moving plans. Fifty-five percent of survey respondents and
60 percent of those aged 35 to 49 years say they like where they live and don't
plan to move even if their rents go up.
Among all respondents, 37 percent said they don't know when they will
move next, up from 30 percent.
More than half of renters are saying that renting is a good choice for them,
up from 48 percent in January 2016 to 52 percent in this year's January
poll. While many expect they will
eventually become homeowners, their percentage fell from 45 to 41 percent since
the September survey and those who say they are working toward homeownership
drop from 21 percent to 15 percent.
Among those who know the percentage, 40 percent said more than a third of
their income goes to rent. Millennials
and Gen X renters pay more than one third.
The Freddie Mac survey also
indicates a preference for living in urban areas. Seven in 10 renters said they are at least
somewhat willing to live in a smaller home in order to remain in a city. Urban renters are also more likely to say
renting is a good choice from them, although they would like to own at some
"It would appear from our new survey that renters today feel better
about their finances, like where they are living, and view renting favorably.
This is consistent with findings from earlier surveys that show a steadily
growing number of renters have a positive view of renting," said David
Brickman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily.