A surge of renters are ready to make the leap into homeownership. According to a new TransUnion analysis on the U.S. rental market, 55 percent of those who actively shopped for a mortgage in the first quarter of 2017 were non-homeowners and primarily renters. This is up from 50 percent in the first quarter of 2016 and 45 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
“The rental market has seen sustained growth for the last several years, but occupancy rates have flattened from their peak in the second quarter of 2016,” says Mike Doherty, senior vice president of TransUnion’s rental screening solutions group.
The report shows that millennials’ interest in homeownership is continuing to grow, with 29 percent of non-homeowners who have shopped for a mortgage in 2017 coming from the millennial age range.
The shifting preference from renting to homeownership will affect brokers and agents who work in property management. “This new uptick in mortgage shopping could be a precursor to further declines in occupancy, which would impact rent growth—and ultimately, revenue—for multifamily property owners,” Doherty says.
Brokers and agents who work with or manage rental properties should consider new services and amenities to attract tenants, Doherty says. According to a previous TransUnion survey, 51 percent of renters “would be more likely to choose a property if they knew their landlord would report their rental payments to credit bureaus,” as 79 percent of survey respondents said they prioritize rental payments above all other monthly bills.