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June 3, 2024

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A third of renters stayed in their home for five years or more, facing high costs of homeownership and high rental costs discouraging moving from one rental to another, according to Redfin.

Renters are staying place longer, in part due to high homeownership costs as well as high rental costs discouraging moving to new rentals.

According to a report from Redfin, the share of renters staying in their home for 10 years, five to nine years, and one to four years increased in 2022 relative to a decade ago. Conversely, the share of renters staying in their home for 12 months or less declined significantly from a decade ago to 25.2% in 2022 from 32.2% in 2012.

One in six renters stay in their home for both 10 years or more and five to nine years, according to Redfin. Additionally, two in five renters stay in their home for one to four years, according to the report.

Several reasons are contributing to renters staying in place longer, namely the high costs of homeownershuip. The median U.S. home-sale price has more than doubled since 2012 and has risen more than 40% since 2019. With mortgage rates hovering near two-decade highs, renters are facing more difficult conditions to save for future down payments and monthly mortgage payments. The limited supply of available for-sale inventory is also a factor contributing to would-be home buyers electing to rent for longer periods.

Additionally, rental prices have risen during the same period as well, soaring more than 20% since 2019. As a result, many renters are discouraged from moving from one rental to another and favor staying put, according to Redfin. Redfin says the pandemic-driven rise in remote work has also encouraged some Americans to favor renting rather than owning for ease of relocation for job opportunities.

“While the fact that people are staying longer in their rentals may mean they can’t afford to buy a home in today’s market, staying put also means they’re saving some money that could eventually go toward a down payment if they do have a goal of homeownership,” says Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari. “Staying in the same home means they’re likely to face smaller rent increases, and they’re saving money on moving costs and application fees.”

Bokhari notes it is possible that renter tenure could decline soon. The apartment-building boom in 2023 will likely give renters more options for places to move and likely will cool rental-price growth.

Generationally, Gen Z renters are most likely to move within one year, with baby boomers are most likely to live in their rental for more than 10 years. More than half of Gen Z renters stayed in their home for 12 months or less in 2022. Conversely, 32.9% of baby boomers stayed in their rental for 10 years or more and just 13.3% have lived in their rental for 12 months or less. Half of millennial renters have lived in their home for one to four years and 39.5% of Gen X renters stayed in their home for the same period of time.

Among the 50 most populous metros, renters move the most often in Austin, Texas.

Approximately 38.2% of Austin renters stayed put for 12 months or less. Renters also moved within 12 months most frequently in Denver and Nashville, Tennessee. Renters are likely to stay in place longer in several high-cost metros, including New York, Riverside, California, and Los Angeles, according to Redfin.

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