Freddie Mac: Are Rising Rents Driving Residents Toward Homeownership?

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 18, 2015 No Comments
Categories : Residential Mortgage

New research from Freddie Mac shows that favorable perceptions about renting are increasing and the majority of renters are content with their experience despite rising rental costs. Freddie Mac commissioned Harris Poll to survey more than 2,000 U.S. adults online in March about their perceptions on renting.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, rents rose 3.6% last year and are expected to rise 3.4% above inflation this year. This is a significant statistic when considering that more than one-third of U.S. households now rent their homes.

Freddie Mac's survey found that 38% of renters who have lived in their home two years or more experienced a rent increase within the last two years and only 6% experienced a decrease.

Of those who experienced an increase, 70% said they would like to buy a home but cannot afford to at this point and 51% now have to put off their plans to purchase a home.

Yet despite these rising prices, the majority of renters report overall satisfaction with their rental experience: Approximately 33% of renters indicated that they were ‘very satisfied’ and another 30% indicated they were ‘moderately satisfied.’

Freddie Mac found that the top favorable factors about renting include freedom from home maintenance, location flexibility and protection against home price decline.

Moreover, the results show shared positive views across generations. There appear to be no significant differences between millennial, Generation X or Baby Boomer renters in their views that renting provides location flexibility and a safeguard against declining home prices.

The study found that 53% of renters say they are making no changes to their spending plans and 46% say they like where they live and will stay in their current place.

Of those renters that are making adjustments due to rental increases, 61% indicate they are spending less on essentials or non-essentials and 28% are contemplating getting a roommate or moving into a smaller rental property.

‘We've found that rising rents do not appear to be playing a significant role in motivating renters to buy a home,’ says David Brickman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily. ‘This contradicts what some in the housing market think, as they expect more renters ought to be actively looking to purchase a home. We believe rising rents are primarily a sign of increased demand rather than a signal that home purchases will be increasing.’

Additional details can be found on Freddie Mac's website.

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