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Freddie Mac: Renters say they expect to stay where they are

Less say they’re working toward homeownership

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More renters are optimistic about their financial situation and say they don’t expect to move, even if their rent increases, according to the latest Freddie Mac renter survey.

In fact, a declining number of renters say they are working toward homeownership, expect to buy a home, or even move within the next few years. As it stands, renters answered that renting is a good choice for them, according to the survey.

Renters expect that renting will stay affordable, but say they would move into a smaller rental unit to be closer to a city. Sentiments differed among urban, suburban and rural households, however, nationally, those saying they expect to rent their next home increased to 59%. This is up from 55% in the last renter survey from September.

“It would appear from our new survey that renters today feel better about their finances, like where they are living, and view renting favorably,” said David Brickman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac multifamily. “This is consistent with findings from earlier surveys that show a steadily growing number of renters have a positive view of renting.”

In addition to the more positive outlook toward renting, fewer Americans responded that now is a good time to buy.

Renters feel better about their financial situations as 41% now say they have enough money to last beyond each payday, up from 34% in September. Those who say they can’t afford essentials slipped from 20% to 14% in that same period. Those who say they have enough to cover their expenses from one paycheck to the next remained steady at 45%.

In fact, financial confidence rose for renters of all age groups no matter where they live. The greatest increases in confidence were seen among rural households, which increased to 46%, up from 27%, and Baby Boomers, with an increase to 48%, up from 38%.

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