What Do Renters Really Want?

Renters aren’t so different from homeowners in their wish to live in single-family houses, a new survey indicates. Nearly half of renters consider choosing a single-family house, with roughly another third expressing interest in townhomes, says a recent poll by Zillow Group.

1Among homebuyers, 83% are in the market for houses, with 20% also viewing townhomes as a possibility, Zillow found. The online real estate database company determined that the top concern among both renters and homebuyers, though, is affordability — with 95% of renters and 78% of homeowners putting it high on their list of priorities. Safety ranked next among the drivers of home selection, cited by 60% of homebuyers and 54% of renters.

There’s a big gap between homebuyers and renters in terms of the dwellings they end up living in, though — and that may have to do with the issue of cost. Single-family houses comprised 78% of residential purchases, with townhomes making up another 10%. But only 28% of renters ended up in single-family houses. And more than half of renters landed in multiunit dwellings of less than 50 residences. The share of renters in townhomes, though, was only slightly less than that of homebuyers, at 9%.

The gap in median income is also large, with the typical homebuyer in Zillow’s survey having a household income at $87,500 annually while the typical renter’s is below $50,000.

2The typical homebuyer is also “is in their mid-to-late 30s or early 40s, married (67%) and college-educated (75%).” The typical renter, meanwhile, “is most often female (57%)” and below 50 (84%), with 56% of all renters being millennials (ages 18-34) and 28% of them members of Generation X (ages 35-50).

Most renters (58%) told Zillow they are looking to buy, though only 19% said they are “seriously” house-hunting. On the other hand, most homebuyers (52%) said that, even while searching for a home, they would consider renting as an alternative, with 23% seriously evaluating that option.

The survey, part of Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report 2016, was given as to consumers between April 27 and May 12 of this year and involved 3,000 renters who had moved in the previous 12 months and 3,003 homebuyers who had purchased their primary residences in that same period.

Source: investors.com