Survey Finds More Homeowners Turning to Renting

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorChicago–An increasing number of housing foreclosures seen across the nation have turned more and more homeowners into renters, according to a national survey conducted by Apartments.com. The survey, which questioned nearly 2,000 people, revealed that a majority of U.S. renters are families who consciously choose renting over ownership, as it is more affordable and allows for a lifestyle they prefer. Of the surveyed, 11 percent have been renters less than one year, and 41 percent have been renters less than five years.Half of all survey respondents said they rent because it is a more affordable living option compared to the expenses associated with home ownership including mortgage interest, taxes and repairs. Nearly 30 percent of renters also said they enjoy the many benefits apartment living affords them including flexibility and a maintenance-free lifestyle, convenient access to apartment amenities and a variety of more affordable living options in superior locations and neighborhoods. Taking into account the current climate of the national economy, flexibility is key. This summer, more than half of renters surveyed by Apartments.com listed relocating for jobs and moving closer to work as the top two reasons for moving. Unlike renting an apartment, financial advisors recommend owning a home for at least a five year period prior to selling. More than 80 percent of a monthly mortgage payment is interest that goes directly to the bank for the first five years before being able to build any real equity.  While 35 percent of renters surveyed live alone, more than half live with loved ones and family defined as significant others, single-parent homes and immediate family members limited to spouse and children.