United States

More renters in it for the long haul than a decade ago

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Smiling woman relaxing on the sofa at home

Renters are moving less often than they did a decade ago.

Data from Redfin shows that in 2022, 16.6% of renters had lived in their current home for 10 years or more – up from 14% in 2012. Another 16.4% had stayed for five to nine years, which is also an increase from 14% a decade earlier.

Fewer renters are moving every year, with only a quarter staying for a year or less in 2022, compared to 32.2% in 2012. The remaining 41.8% spent between one and four years in their rental, which is an increase from 39.9% in 2012.

Though these rate changes are modest, they indicate a trend driven by broader economic factors and evolving lifestyle preferences.

Rising home prices and mortgage rates have made homeownership less accessible, as has a shortage of homes for sale. Elevated rental prices and the cost of moving also discourage more frequent moves, while current tenants tend to receive smaller rent increases. 

But the flexibility of renting has also become more appealing since the mainstreaming of remote and hybrid work arrangements. For a growing number of tenants, renting is a long-term lifestyle choice.

“The uptick in tenure is beneficial for renters and their landlords,” said Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari. Staying put means tenants can potentially save towards a future down payment, while housing providers can enjoy reduced turnover costs and more consistent cash flow.

Note that this analysis is based on the latest US Census Bureau data (2022) so this trend may have started reversing in the past two years.

But given that 61% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, extra-long-term tenancies will likely remain the new norm – unless home prices come down. Even then, a growing number of renters are finding value in stability.

More tenant behavior headlines

Should renters be allowed to renovate? Millennials think so. – PayProp blog

Real estate must adapt to the rise of multigenerational living – Propmodo

Rising rental fraud comes at a cost for property managers – Multifamily Dive

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