An upcoming study asks housing providers whether they truly understand the changing priorities of renters.
More than 170,000 renters in more than 4,000 communities were surveyed in a new study from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Grace Hill.
Renters’ preferences are influenced by financial motivations, evolving expectations, and the influence of remote work in the post-pandemic era, according to the 2024 Renter Preferences Survey Report.
The analysis of this data reveals that today’s renter is confronted with a vast array of emerging technologies. Their desire for creature comforts is still strong, but they are also looking for features and amenities that reflect a very mobile and connected lifestyle.
In the previous survey, 35% of respondents said they were interested in shared workspaces, but today, nearly half (48%) say they are. Similarly, 86% of respondents say that high-speed internet is either very important or essential. A property investor, a property manager, a developer or an architect need to have a thorough understanding of these shifting priorities, the report states.
NMHC President Sharon Wilson Géno said, “These findings present policymakers with the opportunity to better appreciate that the vast majority of renters are satisfied with their housing situation.” “This information also illuminates the needs, both desired and necessary, of residents, as well as the difficulties housing providers face when providing homes that serve as the foundation for renters’ lives.”
Among the topics discussed in the survey on changing priorities of renters:
- Resident Demographics & Lifestyle
- Financial Health & Wellbeing (*new in 2024)
- Apartment Search and Touring
- Technology & Connectivity Needs
- Lease Decision Factors
- Commuting & Remote Work
- Apartment Features
- Community Amenities
- Pricing Expectations
- Future Rental Behavior
Generally, renters feel valued by their housing providers and enjoy living in their rental communities.
The majority of respondents (85%) agree or strongly agree with this statement: I enjoy living in my community. In addition, a majority of respondents reported feeling included and accepted in their community (86%), feeling that their property staff shows respect and kindness (85%), and feeling that their wellbeing is important to community management (75%).
According to the survey, three top factors contributed most to a renter’s sense of community, regardless of income level: neighbors who respected the rules; feeling welcomed by the community staff; and having access to community services.
The popularity of remote work from home continues to grow
Remote work reflects the changing priorities of renters. Approximately 39 percent reported that they worked from home several days a week, followed by 31% who worked from home every day, 21% who worked from home a few times a month, and 9% who worked from home once a month or less.
In 2023, 73% of renters expect their remote work frequency to remain the same.
Do They Stay Or Do They Go?
There are fewer plans for residents to purchase homes, and more are planning to stay in their current rental apartments or buildings for longer.
As far as moving reasons go, the most common is to find a lower rent.
According to Grace Hill CEO Kendall Pretzer, this year’s survey provides valuable insight into every stage of the customer journey. In 2024 and beyond, organizations will be able to learn more about in-unit features and community amenities that matter most to renters, allowing them to make more informed growth decisions.