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Our Latest Research Shows More Renters Worried About Paying Bills

November 15, 2016

Freddie Mac’s renter research, conducted in September 2016, shows that renters are more satisfied with their rental experience than they were in October 2015. However, they are also more anxious about their finances.

More than four in ten renters say they are satisfied with the rental experience. Adding in those who are moderately satisfied increases the overall percentage of satisfied renters to 66 percent in the latest research. At the same time, the number of respondents who say renting is more affordable than owning a home fell from 69 percent in January to 65 percent in September.

The desire to own a home is strongest among the Gen X population renters and they are most likely to save for a down payment. Yet, Gen Xers are more satisfied with their rental experience than any other generation.

Concern Over Household Finances is Rising

Over the past year, a greater number of multifamily and single-family property renters — 20 percent compared to 11 percent last year — feel they sometimes don’t have enough money for basics until the next payday. The Gen X renters are feeling the tightest squeeze with over one-quarter feeling this way.

Renters are struggling with managing their debt and over one-third are either extremely or very concerned about potential rent increases in the next 12 months. Fear of eviction because of rising rents is now a reality for at least one in five Americans.

Despite increased financial stress, a majority of renters are saying they put more importance on saving for emergencies, children’s education or retirement than on down payments for a home. Four out of seven say they will move in the future and many are thinking about their finances, not lifestyle, when choosing where to live or go next. The majority expect their future residence to be the same or less expensive than what they’re currently paying. 

Renters Prefer Energy Efficient Features

More renters are concerned about potential increases in their utility bills than rent or other essentials. Many would rather rent an environmentally friendly home and feel they are generally better places to live. However, although they feel an energy/water efficient home would help to reduce their utility bills, seven in ten renters view these types of properties as more expensive to rent.  At the end of the day, more than four in ten agree they would be willing to pay more in rent for an energy/water efficient home.

For more research results, click here.

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