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Multifamily Renter Sentiment Report Shows New Housing and Generational Trends

By Mihaela Lica Butler | December 18, 2023

Knightvest, a real estate investment and management company, has published its inaugural annual Multifamily Renter Sentiment Report findings. The survey offers insights into the decision between renting and buying, the consequences of high mortgage interest rates, and variations in rental preferences across different generations.

  • Most renters (59%) choose to rent rather than feel forced to rent.
  • Among the respondents, 51% of Millennials and 54% of Gen Z individuals have actively chosen to rent.
  • A surprisingly high number of renters (31%) feel ambivalent or uninterested in home ownership.
  • 74% of renters report that their timeline to purchase a home has significantly lengthened due to increased mortgage rates
  • Older Americans are selling homes to live in apartments.
  • 73% of people say that social interaction is essential in an apartment community
  • Baby Boomers value social interaction more than Millennials (78% versus 71%)
  • On the whole, Gen Z respondents are slightly more enthusiastic about the idea of owning a home compared to Millennials (29% vs. 25%).
2023 Multifamily Renter Sentiment Report
2023 Knightvest Multifamily Renter Sentiment Report Infographic

The rent-versus-buy decision is increasingly nuanced given this dynamic macroeconomic environment, and it's interesting to see the data support what we're hearing anecdotally from residents: if you create communities built on quality, service and care, then apartments can become sought-after destinations where residents thrive through multiple seasons of their lives.

David Moore, Knightvest Founder and CEO

Top Reasons Why People Rent

  • The high cost of owning a home is a concern for 62% of people.
  • The reduced responsibility for maintenance and repairs is a factor for 51% of individuals.
  • 35% of renters cite the increased flexibility to relocate as a reason they choose renting instead of buying.

Also, it is interesting to note that:

  • 29% of renters have previously owned a home.
  • 71% of Baby Boomer renters have owned a home before, and their primary reason for renting is to have fewer maintenance and repair responsibilities.

Finally, The surge in mortgage rates has caused a significant delay in decision-making for those looking to buy a home.

  • An overwhelming 74% of survey participants have indicated that the timeline for their home purchase consideration has been prolonged due to the substantial increase in mortgage rates.
  • Within this group, a staggering 79% have reported that this extension ranges from a few years to indefinite.
  • Millennials and Gen Z individuals have expressed similar salary expectations required to afford a home.
  • On average, Millennials have stated a need for a salary of $139,000 to purchase their desired home, while Gen Z has mentioned a requirement of $137,000.

As we head into 2024, this data underscores the enduring demand for apartments and reveals insights that will continue to shape the real estate landscape for years to come. At Knightvest, we remain focused on executing our strategy to renovate and reposition apartment communities to create compelling, modern living environments at an extraordinary value. With people staying in apartments longer, this work has never been more important than it is today.

David Moore, Knightvest Founder and CEO.

Knightvest conducted the survey in the Multifamily Renter Sentiment Report from November 20 to November 30, 2023, on an online platform. 4,100 U.S. apartment renters participated voluntarily and did not receive payment for their opinions.

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Mihaela Lica Butler is senior partner at Pamil Visions PR. She is a widely cited authority on public relations issues, with an experience of over 25 years in online PR, marketing, and SEO.She covers startups, online marketing, social media, SEO, and other topics of interest for Realty Biz News.
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