Majority of Renters Have No Plans to Purchase a Home: Survey
Origination volume for new mortgages may take awhile to rebound, if the nation's renters have any say in the matter. The vast majority of renters say they will not make the move to buy their own home in the next year, as consumer confidence in the state of the U.S. housing market has hit historical low point, a new study found Wednesday. Sixty-seven percent of current renters plan to continue renting for at least the next 12 months, a survey commissioned by the National Apartment Association found, while 80 percent of U.S. adults believe that the national housing picture won't improve for at least six months. "The country is deep into the discussion of the economic fallout of sub-prime mortgage lending. However, little attention has been paid to how the crisis is impacting people's choices to stay in rental homes and wait out the storm," said National Apartment Association president Douglas Culkin. "Renters are not eager to take a chance on homeownership this year. If the economy improves, that trend may abate, but, for now, people are generally staying put." Not surprisingly given the housing fallout, occupancy rates in rental housing have seen the largest annual increase in history -- 1.5 million units -- based on available Commerce Dept. data, which goes back to 1965. This increase has produced an all-time record high of the number of rental housing units in the country, now totaling 34.7 million units or about 83 million persons. "Just last week, the Commerce Department cited that the main reason for an upswing in U.S. homebuilding is the construction of rental properties -- not single-family homes -- further supporting our findings of what the average U.S. adult is experiencing," Culkin said. On a long-term view, renters apparently aren't any more eager to take a chance on home ownership anytime soon: 69 percent of renters said they plan to stay renters for up to five more years, according to the NAA study. The NAA study was conducted by Harris Interactive, and surveyed more than 2,000 adults nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.naahq.org.