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The Difference a Year Makes: Renters Value Space Over Price

The point is often made that much has changed with the global pandemic. However, that also applies to behavioral patterns over the one-year course of the outbreak, and not only on a before-and-after basis.

Take apartment hunting, for example. “With all the talk about working from home nowadays, you might think that things like internet speed or a home office top the priority list of people browsing for new rentals,” writes Alexandra Ciuntu for RentCafe. “However, it seems as though renters are coping with the monotony of spending most of their time at home by looking for a change in scenery, more space, open-air amenities and better local deals.”

RentCafe’s recent survey of more than 10,000 renters conducted charted how preferences had changed after a year of staying at home, what renters’ main concern was while moving, or how the pandemic had affected their rental selection process. 

The survey showed that lifestyle improvement was the main motivator for those looking to rent this year. That’s a contrast to a survey the company conducted a year ago, when the top renter preference was the price and the top concern was safety.  
In the latest survey, Ciuntu writes, “It wasn’t just renting preferences that were heavily focused on lifestyle improvement. The reasons for moving were within the same spectrum, as well. For instance, the opportunity to get a better deal was the top reason for moving for 29% of respondents, while the second-most cited reason for a quarter of respondents was the need for a change of scenery.

“Granted, for most of us, finding adequate housing remains a priority regardless of exterior factors – which could  be pinned on the renter’s need for stability. The survey also showed that 90% of respondents were looking for long-term rentals, most preferring to remain in the same city (48%). This  shows that improving housing conditions – not drastic change – is the goal.”


Inside The Story

Read more at RentCafe

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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