Fewer people who rent a home in the US looking to buy in the short term

More people who rent a home in the United States expect to stay where they are even if their rents increased and fewer are looking at home ownership, according to new research.

A falling number of renters say they are working toward buying a home, expect to buy a home, or to move within the next few years, the latest renter survey from Freddie Mac also shows.

Tenants are saying that renting is a good choice for them, they expect renting to stay affordable, and would move into a smaller rental home to be closer to a city and nationally those saying they expect to rent their next home increased to 59% from 55% since Freddie Mac’s last renter survey in September 2016.

‘It would appear that renters today feel better about their finances, like where they are living, and view renting favourably. This is consistent with findings from earlier surveys that show a steadily growing number of renters have a positive view of renting,’ said David Brickman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily.

Some 41% of renters now say they have enough money to last beyond each payday, up from 34% in September 2016, while those who say they cannot afford essentials fell from 20% to 14% and those saying they have enough to cover their expenses from payday to payday is relatively unchanged at about 45%.

However, the increase in personal financial confidence, so far, has not triggered an increase in renter moving plans. Indeed, the number of renters who don’t know when they expect to move rose to 37% from 30% while those who expect to move during the next two years fell from 38% to 33% since September.

Some 55% of all respondents and 60% of 35 to 49 year olds say they like where they live and don’t plan to move if their rents rose and the number of renters who say renting is a good choice for them now rose to 52% from 46% since January 2016. Views on rent affordability have remained relatively flat at 68%.

The number of renters who say they plan to rent their next home rose from 55% to 59% and the biggest increases were among suburban households, up from 48% to 57% and younger people aged 18 to 24 which rose from 64% to 73%.

While home ownership remains on the horizon, the percentage of renters who expect to own fell to 41% from 45% and the number of renters who say they are working toward home ownership fell from 21% to 15%.

The Freddie Mac survey also indicates a preference for living in urban areas even if it means moving into a smaller home. Some 75% say they would consider downsizing in order to live in an urban area, with half of those saying they are either very or fairly willing to downsize.

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