How Do Multifamily Renters And Single-Family Renters Differ?

Multifamily renters make less money, have fewer kids and are less likely to be married, according to new research from a real estate consulting firm.

The research into the single-family renter shows the key differences between those who rent apartments and those who rent single-family homes, according to Mikaela Sharp, Research Analyst, and Chris Porter, Chief Demographer, for John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

There are 28 million multifamily rental households in the U.S. and 16 million single-family renter households. Here is how they differ:

  • Income: Multifamily renters earn an average of $32,400 a year, while single-family renters earn $42,600.
  • Family: Only 30% of those renting multifamily housing have kids. Typically this is because the renters are more likely to be under 35 years-old or over 65. For the single-family tenant, 52% have kids.
  • Marriage: 21% of tenants in multifamily are married, compared to 38% in single-family rental homes.

Lifestyle drives multifamily renters and single-family renters preferences

“Lifestyle drives much of the preference between renting a single-family home or an apartment. Single-family renters tend to prefer a yard for kids and pets, and good school districts. They also prefer more privacy from their neighbors,” Sharp and Porter write in the research.

“Many single-family renters would like to own some day but have not yet saved the down payment, have poor credit, or want more flexibility to move in the future,” they write.

The report says John Burns worked with five of the largest single-family rental landlords in the country and they “helped us understand this important component of the housing population—now reaching almost 13% of all households.”

For more information contact Chris Porter, Vice President, Chief Demographer, at John Burns Real Estate Consulting at at (949) 870-1218 or Mikaela Sharp, Research Analyst, at (949) 870-1203.

About the authors:

Chris Porter is Chief Demographer. He helps clients understand the role demographics plays in shaping the demand for housing in the short and long term. He co-authored Big Shifts Ahead: Demographic Clarity for Businesses, which is now available for purchase. Chris was instrumental in developing our Housing Demand by Price Point and LifeStage model.  The research he leads informs many of our firm’s forecasts. Before joining John Burns Real Estate Consulting in 2005, Chris worked for Reed Business Information’s web site, and was also Director of Electronic Media for Reed’s Building and Construction Group. Before that he was an analyst at Rogerscasey, an investment consulting firm. Chris has a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a M.S. from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and works in our Irvine office.

Mikaela Sharp collects and analyzes data for compelling and timely demographic research. She also supports the Marketing team toward building the company’s demographic brand. Before becoming a Research Analyst, Mikaela began her career with John Burns Real Estate Consulting as an intern for both the Demographics and Marketing departments. Mikaela holds a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Irvine.