Over the past 18 months, renters have been on the move and clearly desire more living space in their living arrangements, as indicated by the 2022 renter preferences survey report.
Another interesting finding from the 2022 Renter Preferences Survey Report is that a quarter of respondents who moved did so as a result of a shift in work schedule during the pandemic.
Renter Preferences Survey Report: Key Findings and Trends
It appears that lockdowns led to a strong desire for more space; 28 percent of renters who intend to move to a new rental community when their lease ends cite “additional living space” as a factor, up from 19 percent two years ago.
Home is becoming a sanctuary more so than ever, and renters are willing to pay more in monthly rent for certain amenities. Reported must-haves include: washer/dryer in-unit (92% of renters interested, $54.73 monthly premium), air conditioning (91%, $54.73) , soundproof walls (90%, $46.21), high-speed internet access (89%, $47.93) , and walk-in closet (88%, $43.46).
“The share of renters who received two or fewer packages per month dropped from 45 percent in 2019 to just 24 percent this round, while the share who received three or more packages per month increased from 55 percent to 76 percent over the two-year period,” the report says.
Residents were asked to identify what type of rental homes they considered during their last home search. Apartment homes were the most common choice (57 percent), followed by townhomes and single-family homes (23 percent and 19 percent, respectively).
“There were also strong correlations between what type of rental home they ultimately ended up in and their preferences for features and amenities like storage solutions, fitness centers and package management,” the report says.
The main reason tenants are interested in smart home technology is its ability to add convenience or save money. Smart thermostats were the most popular smart home feature among renters, with 70 percent stating they would rent a unit without this feature.
Renter interest in intelligent sensor technology is also increasing in leak detection systems (67 percent) and water-saving devices (67 percent).
Furthermore, reliable internet access and cell service are requirements, as well as reliability of the service.
86 percent of survey respondents said they were interested in reliable cell phone service as the top community amenity. Even more renters are concerned about having high-speed internet. Nine out of ten respondents said they would not rent a home without it.
Approximately one-third of renters reported living with an animal.
Seventy percent of pet owners indicated their fur babies were dogs, proving to be a renter’s best friend.
Dog parks, pet washing stations and on-site pet services like dog daycare and grooming are driving demand for-and premium prices for-four-legged friendly amenities.
Furthermore, survey results show that pet breed restrictions may be losing favor with renters. Approximately 77 percent of respondents indicated that pet breed restrictions would either have no effect on their leasing decisions or would make them less likely to rent a property with restrictions.
There is no doubt that noise remains one of the most significant environmental pollutants in rental communities, detrimental to the well-being of tenants.
As a result, renters are increasingly interested in sound-absorbing windows and walls. The third-most popular home feature is soundproof walls, after air conditioning and in-unit washer/dryers, with 90 percent of respondents indicating that they would rent without them.
Patios and balconies, as well as other outdoor amenities in a community, have long attracted renters.
Almost three-quarters of the renter preference survey respondents indicated strong interest in a community pool, with those living in fairer climates in the Southeast and Texas showing the highest levels of interest. Interest levels around amenities like rooftop space and barbecue grills were also affected by geography, as renters in high density areas near some of the nation’s largest cities showed a higher level of interest in rooftop space and grills.
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“Our team conducted the survey in September and October 2021. Web-based surveys were distributed to more than 1 million residents. Along with the national report, metro-level reports are available. To qualify, each market needed at least 150 responses from five properties and at least two participating firms.” A total of 221,559 renter responses were received.