High mortgage interest rates, high home values, and high rents continued to fuel affordability challenges for buyers and renters, Zillow says in a new survey.
Low vacancy rates that limit mobility and also put pressure on rental rates are also a challenge.
However, the report says, “Many renters’ behaviors, intentions, and preferences have remained relatively stable over the years.”
The 2023 Consumer Housing Trends Report (CHTR) provides a snapshot of what housing consumers were thinking and doing in early-to-mid 2023.
Here are some key findings:
- Renters make up 30% of the U.S. population. The typical renter is 39 years old. Compared with the adult population as a whole, the renting population tends to be younger, more racially diverse, less likely to have ever been married, and more likely to identify as LGBTQ+.
- Most renters (53%) live in an apartment building.
- About three in five renters (61%) say they are considering moving within the next three years.
- The typical recent renter submitted two applications — one online and one on paper/in person. For these rental applicants, the typical application fee to apply for their current rental was $50 and the typical recent renter reported paying $60 in total across all the rentals they applied for.
- About half (52%) of recent renters who moved from a previous rental say they disagreed with their landlord or property manager about something.
- Almost half (45%) of renters say that they would be very or extremely likely to buy a home if rates fell, versus only one in five (20%) who say the same if rates rise.
Also, the survey says half of recent renters report at least one move-out disagreement with their previous landlord or property manager.
- 27% said they disagreed about repair, damage or maintenance on the property.
- 22% disagreed about the responsibility for utility payments such as electricity, heat, gas, or Internet access.
- 19% said they disagreed about move-out costs or fees.
Renters that Stayed Put Cite Good Deals, Affordability as Their Reasons
When asked what encouraged them to stay at their current rentals, tenured renters were most likely to say that their rental costs were a good deal (72%), followed by not being able to afford to move somewhere else (66%).
Smaller shares cited liking their landlord or property manager (60%), a floor plan or layout that fit their preferences (61%), and private outdoor space (50%). Tenured renters were least likely to cite their rental’s common amenities like a gym or conference room (33%) as encouragement for staying put.
What did renters say was most important in choosing a home?
Half of Renters Pay Rent Online – More Would Like To
In fall of 2020, half (50%) of recent renters said they typically pay their rent online. Since then, the share has risen 10 points to 60%. Over the same time, the share of recent renters that said they would ideally prefer to pay their rent online remained similar: 69% in fall 2020 and 69% in spring/summer of 2023.
A majority of renters plan to move within three years
Similar to both before and after the pandemic, recent renters consistently consider moving; 72% say they are considering it within the next 3 years.
About a quarter (25%) say they are currently considering moving, and almost one in three (29%) say they’re considering moving in the next year.
Another fifth (19%) say they’re considering it within the next two to three years. About one in 10 (12%) say they might consider moving, but not within the next 3 years. And the remaining 15% say they have no plans to move