Single family renters more likely to stay in place

By REAL ESTATE ECONOMY WATCH   |   Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM   |   0 comments

One of every four (26%) single family tenant plans to stay in place five years or more, compared to one out of five apartment dwellers (22%), according to a new national survey of renters by ORC International for Premier Property Management. Founded in 1938, ORC International is a leading global market research firm and since 2007 has conducted the CNN|ORC International poll.

One factor contributing to single family stability could be high marks renters give the quality of single family property management. Some 80 percent of tenants in single family rentals said their property management was good or excellent compared to only 63 percent of apartment renters One out of four apartment dwellers (26%) rated their management as only adequate,

“With the emergence of the single family rental option, American families have a new housing choice that brings them the aspects of associated with owning their own homes important to families such as living space, privacy, safe neighborhoods and the sense of community- without the cost and risks of homeownership. Single family rentals can be found in virtually every community today and more and more families are choosing single family rentals either as a temporary stop on the road to becoming homeowners or as a permanent solution to their housing needs,” said Chris Clothier, director of sales & marketing and partner of Premier Property Management.

Over half, 52 percent, of renters, including 60 percent of single family renters and 44 percent of apartment dwellers, said they anticipate becoming homeowners in the next five years. Families with three or more members (64%) and children under 13 (69%) were more likely to become homeowners than the 43 percent who don’t plan to become owners.

Clothier said near term interest in becoming homeowners among single family tenants reflects the new roles single family rentals are fulfilling as a stepping stone to homeownership for first-time buyers and as a sanctuary for large numbers of families displaced by foreclosures but who plan to buy again when they can afford to do so.


Despite reports that difficulties getting financing are keeping many U.S. renters from becoming homeowners, the survey found that the inability to get a mortgage ranks only third of among the reasons renters don’t plan to become homeowners. Among those who do not anticipate becoming homeowners (43 percent of all renters), 29 percent say they can’t get a mortgage. More renters report that they don’t want to buy a home because they enjoy being renters (40%) or they simply don’t want to be homeowners (39%).

Short term turnover rates for both multifamily and single family rentals over the next two years are 56 percent for multifamily and 59 percent for single family rentals. Apartments typically experience an annual 50 to 60 percent tenant turnover.

The survey also found:

-- Single family renters make more money and are nearly twice as likely to have children as apartment dwellers. Median income for a single family renter is $75-100,000 (66%) versus $50,000-75000 (51%) for a multifamily tenant.

-- Single family households are larger; some 65 percent have three or more members compared to 32 percent of apartment households. Some 63 percent of single family households include children; only 34 percent of apartment renters have children living with them.

-- Most single family tenants are older, aged 35-44 (53%) compared to 14-34 (46%) and 65+ (61%) for apartment dwellers.

-- Compared to apartment dwellers, single family renters value neighborhood features important to children, such as parks and playgrounds (65% to 71%), good schools (72% to 82%) and safe neighborhoods (97% to 98%).
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