Home, Sweet Apartment? Renting Becomes Increasingly Popular

It’s no secret that the soaring number of homes nationwide moving into foreclosure status has forced more homeowners to warm up to the idea of renting. But the majority of renters are families who voluntarily opt to rent rather own, citing cost-consciousness and convenience as primary motives, according to a nearly 2,000-respondent survey conducted by Apartments.com. Most consumers that rent have done so for a significant length of time. Almost 70 percent of renters surveyed reported that they have always rented, while 37 percent have been renting for at least 10 years. Half of all respondents noted that they rent because it is a more price-light option than homeownership, which includes outlays such as mortgage interest, taxes and repairs. Nearly 30 percent of renters said they enjoy various benefits such as flexibility, a maintenance-free lifestyle and convenient access to apartment amenities, according to the survey. Interestingly enough, however, in another survey conducted this summer by Apartments.com, relocating for work and moving closer to work were listed as the main reasons for moving. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed live in an apartment with at least two rooms. Thirty-five percent of renters surveyed live alone, but more than half live with loved ones and family defined as significant others, single-parent homes and immediate family members limited to spouse and children.