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Renting Gains More Popularity Across All Generations While Owning Is Seen as a Less Affordable Option

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Nowadays, owning a home is no longer as hip as it once was – and not as affordable either. A new survey conducted by Freddie Mac found that due to affordability, renting is seen as a much better alternative to owning. More and more people admit being happy with their choice of renting a home and believe it’s the best option for them. However, since demand is increasing, some argue that there might not be enough apartments to meet people’s needs.

While owning a home reflects stability and comfort, renting definitely has its advantages. One of them and probably the most important would be the financial aspect. Nationally, 76% of renters believe that renting is more affordable. This number increased since March, when it was only 68%.

Baby Boomers and Generation Xers think renting is a great option at many life stages

Similarly, almost 58% of all renters believe renting is better suited to their current lifestyle. A good chunk of these respondents, comprised of 63% Young Millennials aged 21-27 and Baby Boomers aged 53-71 agree with this statement. Also 55% view renting as an excellent choice at different life stages. 45% of Younger Millennials (aged 23-27), 51% of Older Millennials (aged 28-37), 56% of Generation Xers and 68% of Baby Boomers have the same opinion. It doesn’t come as a surprise to see that the highest percentage of those who said renting is a great choice at any stage in life are Baby Boomers. In a recent study, we showed that the biggest changes in the renting population in recent years came from this generation.

If you think that renting is more affordable than owning, know that you’re not alone. Seven out of ten renters across all generations can back you up. More specifically, since September 2016, those agreeing with this view increased by almost 10% among Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers.

Some renter concerns: finding enough apartments available and living closer to work

Over half of those surveyed believe that both home prices and rents have increased over the past year. In fact, when taking into consideration the location, 6 out of 10 urban renters believe that buying a home is more expensive now than it was a year before. This brings the supply question to the table. Are there enough available homes at the moment? To this, 52% answered negatively in regard to available homes while 63% thought that rental apartments are not keeping up with demand.

With such a large number of people believing that rents have been going up across the country, our latest apartment rent report confirms that this is actually true. Although some rents have been cooling down, almost 79% of the 250 biggest cities in the U.S. experienced growing rents.

Another concern that the survey mentions is the renters’ difficulty in finding affordable housing close to their work. 76% of renters said that they would be willing to make a change and downsize to a smaller place if it meant they would be closer to work. At the same time, a large percentage of renters (41%) admitted that it’s difficult for them to find an affordable home close to where they work. However, we might have good news for those looking for affordable housing. A research we recently carried out shows that at a national level, more and more affordable units are being built in partially-affordable buildings. The data we collected points out that almost 60% of these affordable apartments are found in great locations.

The study published by Freddie Mac also uncovered that even though people still wish they could own a home someday, they agree that renting is more affordable right now. In the future, the odds might be in renters’ favor, as an increasing number of people believe that renting will continue to be more affordable in the next 12 months.

All things considered, although owning a home might be something to be proud of, renting has its advantages and is increasingly preferred by many. The study concludes that almost 60% of all renters are happy with their renting lifestyle, while 41% of those surveyed said that affordability is the main reason for renting and 33% do not see a priority in buying a home.

Source: Freddie Mac

About the author

Florentina Sarac

Florentina is a creative writer for RENTCafé currently absorbed in the mesmerizing real estate world. She has an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication and enjoys spending the majority of her time reading books, traveling, and watching way too many movies. You can connect with Florentina via email: florentina.sarac@yardi.com.

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