What Do Renters Really Want?

It turns out that single-family renters want more than a nice place to live and a low monthly payment. Unlike those who live in multi-family properties, what they really want to do is stay where they are.

A new study by Opinion Research Corporation for Premier Property Management found that “single family home tenants are 25 percent more likely than apartment tenants to stay in their current homes five years or longer, suggesting that demand for single family homes, the fastest growing rental category, will be more stable than multifamily demand.”

Single-Family Rental Advantages

“Single family rentals can be found in virtually every community today and more and more families are choosing single family rentals either as a temporary stop on the road to becoming homeowners or as a permanent solution to their housing needs,” said Chris Clothier, director of sales & marketing and partner with Premier Property Management.

Single-family rentals have become increasingly attractive for several reasons: First, they are often cheaper to rent than to buy. Second, a large down payment up front is not required. Third, owners have the burden of capital improvements and costs, not tenants. Fourth, there is more flexibility associated with renting in the sense that the cost and complexity of a home sale is not required when it comes time to more.

Half of Renters Plan to Buy…Eventually

The study found that more than half of renters surveyed anticipate becoming homeowners during the next five years, a plausible option because — in part — they make more money than multi-family residents.

“Single-family renters make more money and are nearly twice as likely to have children as apartment dwellers,” the survey reported. “Median income for a single family renter is $75-$100,000 (66%) versus $50,000-75,000 (51%) for a multifamily tenant. Single-family households are larger; some 65 percent have three or more members compared to 32 percent of apartment households. Some 63 percent of single family households include children; only 34 percent of apartment renters have children living with them.”

Other Findings

  • The survey found that the inability to get a mortgage ranks only third of among the reasons renters don’t plan to become homeowners. Among those who do not anticipate becoming homeowners (43 percent of all renters), 29 percent say they can’t get a mortgage.
  • More renters report that they don’t want to buy a home because they enjoy being renters or they simply don’t want to be homeowners.
  • Short-term turnover rates for both multifamily and single family rentals over the next two years are slightly more than half of all renters. Apartments typically experience an annual 50 to 60 percent tenant turnover.

The Premier Property Management Group was formed in Memphis, Tennessee by the Clothier family in 2009 and has grown to manage assets in value exceeding $150 million and consisting of 1,700 properties.

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