Norfolk, Va.–The amount of renters in the U.S. has expanded significantly nationwide since the burst of the housing bubble. As the market continues to swell and demand for both home and apartment rental properties increases Homes.com® and sister site, ForRent.com®, conducted a survey to gauge the mindset of today’s renter. The leading multifamily and real estate websites delved deep into what today’s renters are looking for in order to determine and compare what those across the nation prioritize. In order to better cater to renters, the survey garnered genuine consumer insight, finding the majority of today’s renters to be single females and an even split of millennials and those over the age of 50. While home rental interest has increased, amongst those surveyed, apartment units remain the most popular choice. Convenience, location and safety topped the list of priorities over amenities among home and apartment shoppers.
“The vacancy rate nationwide continues to decrease, new construction on apartment units is up and rental rates have increased three percent in the last year,” said Terry Slattery, president of Homes.com and ForRent.com. “This swell in rental demand is directly attributed to the increase in home prices throughout the country and tight lending restrictions, among other factors. Keeping that in mind, renting is becoming more attractive to a broader spectrum of consumers, making it imperative to understand today’s renter and provide customized tools and resources when navigating the market.”
Of the nearly 2,200 consumers that participated in the comprehensive rental insights survey, 80 percent were female, with millennials (ages 18-33) making up 34 percent of respondents. Baby boomers, those ages 50 and over, accounted for 29 percent of survey participants. Those living alone made up more than 45 percent of respondents with those that are married, living with a domestic partner or sharing space with roommates or children making up 44 percent. Desire for apartment units outweighs the desire for residential rental properties with 53 percent of all respondents noting a preference to rent traditional apartments. Among top priorities for choosing a rental location, 51 percent of participants identified proximity to school or work as the most important facet of a potential neighborhood. The second most important priority was safety and accessibility to family.
Homes.com and ForRent.com polled the types of social media outlets most popular among respondents. Results produced an astounding preference for Facebook as 80 percent of contributors ranked the website their most used social platform. Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram captured the attention of 44 percent of consumers while 31 percent prefer Google+.
Digging into what consumers desire most in home amenities, 45 percent of participants expressed limited concern for specific features, 25 percent seek assigned parking and 24 percent require potential rentals to include washer/dryers or laundry units, central cooling and heating, utilities and pool access.