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Market Insight: The New Face of Today’s Renter

Rental BHWomen, Caucasians, and those who make less than $50,000 a year make up over half the renters in the United States. They’re also overwhelmingly under 50 years old, according to a massive new study by Zillow into housing trends.

The study found that half of all home buyers also considered renting, with about one quarter looking at the option seriously. Millennials were the most likely to consider renting, with 71 percent saying they seriously considered it. Thirty-seven percent of first-time buyers seriously consider continuing to rent, and 12 percent of repeat buyers are seriously contemplating renting their next home instead of buying it, the report found.

Almost 60 percent of renters in the market for a new rental home are also considering buying a place, Zillow reported. About 20 percent are seriously looking to buy and 39 percent casually considering it. This is particularly true for Millennials and members of Generation X (63 percent and 59 percent, respectively).

Like homeowners, most renters’ first preference is to live in a single-family home.

According to Zillow, millennial renters represent a little more than half of all renters (56 percent) and they are most often women (59 percent). Similarly, 61 percent of baby boomer renters are women. Generation X renters represent approximately one in three renters, balanced about equally by gender but more likely to be black than other generations. Nearly a third earn above $75,000 a year, representing the highest proportion of wealthier renters among the generations.

Like homeowners, most renters’ first preference is to live in a single-family home, Zillow reported. However, 83 percent of renters are unconcerned with finding standalone houses. About half are looking at units in small or mid-sized buildings, and about a third consider townhouses. Millennials are most willing to move into apartment buildings or townhouses. Generation X renters are most interested in single-family home rentals and boomers are most likely to consider living in a duplex or triplex.

Regionally, renters in the Southeast and Midwest seek the space afforded by single-family homes, while renters in the expensive and dense Northeast and West look to smaller buildings, sharing a home, or income-restricted options to make the rent more affordable, the report stated. Those in the Southwest appear to seek the amenities of larger rental communities.

While the single-family rental market continues to redefine its borders, the investment landscape offers opportunity for many in a volatile marketplace that has often been misunderstood and sometimes fragmented. The Single-Family Rental Summit provides an important conduit for SFR leaders to have the pivotal conversations that will push this industry forward. Top subject matter experts and skilled SFR practitioners will lead discussion panels and training sessions that will answer questions and offer viable solutions related to property acquisition and management, financing, strategies for small, mid-cap, and large investors, and new developments related to technology and professional services.

For more information on the 2016 Single Family Rental Summit and for registration, click HERE.

Editor's Note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company for DS News and DSNews.com

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.

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