What Renters Say: 21 Percent Have No Plans To Ever Buy

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The Editors's picture
What Renters Say: 21 Percent Have No Plans To Ever Buy

Renters say the three most important factors when considering a place to live are affordability, neighborhood safety and commute, according to a new survey.

Also for those renters surveyed, rent is the single largest expense each month for 82 percent of them, according to Zumper’s 2017 survey of U.S. renters. Most also say they think they pay too much in rent.

And, one in five people (21% of those surveyed) do not plan to purchase a home in the future.

While the majority of respondents currently rent their home, only 79% of all respondents want to buy in the future. This is a significant difference from last year’s survey results, where 90% of respondents reported they planned to buy a home in the future, and just 10% did not, according to a release.

Renters survey

Key findings from the renters survey:

  • Respondents generally agree that homeownership is an excellent investment, though not overwhelmingly so, giving it a 3.76 average rating (on a scale of 1-5 disagree to agree scale). Notably, women agreed more strongly than men, non-binary/third gender or self describing respondents.
  •  In their last decision to rent vs. own, finance-related reasons were the most common. The top specific factors considered by roughly half of all respondents are mortgage rates/credit (55%), cost differential (52%), and costs of home repair/maintenance (46%).
  • Respondents are more likely to plan on buying a home if their parents are homeowners however the opposite seems to be true with friends and colleagues. Respondents with a minority of friends as homeowners are the most likely to plan to buy a home in the future.
  • Though 79% of all respondents plan to buy a home in the future, almost half of all respondents (40%) are not currently saving any money at all out of their monthly income for a down  ayment. 19% are saving more than $400 monthly. Men are also saving more at a higher rate than women. Additionally, among those who plan to buy a home, 38% of all people have saved nothing to date for a down payment.
  • People who live in cities are more likely to enjoy the current city/town they live in than those who reside in smaller towns or rural areas. On average, women are less satisfied with their current city/town, neighborhood, and apartment/home than men.
  • The three most important factors considered when selecting a place to live: Affordability (81%), Neighborhood Safety (69%) and Commute (66%).
  • The main reason respondents moved to their current home was related to work (36%). More men moved for job-related reasons more than women did: 45% vs. 31%.
  • Rent is the largest expense every month for 82% of those surveyed.
  •  When asked what percentage of income respondents thought they should spend in rent, the median answer was 25%. When we compared the actual percentage of income spent on rent, 54% of those surveyed are paying more than what they think they should pay.
  •  Technology’s role is becoming irreplaceable in real estate: 84% of all respondents said they would use online platforms for future moves, as opposed to to traditional real estate companies/agents (10%) and referrals (6%).

Read the full report here.

About Zumper:

As the first end-to-end apartment rental platform and largest startup in the industry with 26 million users in 2016, Zumper serves renters, landlords, and brokers with industry-leading tools like real-time alerts, instant online applications, and tenant screening. Based in San Francisco, Zumper has raised $39.2 million in venture capital funding from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Goodwater Capital, Breyer Capital, Foxhaven Asset Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, NEA, CrunchFund, xfund, Dawn Capital, Marcus & Millichap, Scott Cook, and the DeWilde Family Trust. At the beginning of 2016, Zumper also acquired the apartment search startup PadMapper. 

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