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Renters Find Amenities Less Attractive Post-Pandemic

Pools, gyms and laundry rooms can shut down. Renters who moved last year listed price, more space, a change of pace and the pandemic as the top reasons they moved.

NEW YORK – Many renters moved during the pandemic or plan to move soon, according to a new survey from property management software company Entrata. Of those surveyed, 22% moved to a larger apartment with more space, while 46% say they’re planning a post-pandemic move.

Financial limitations are the main reason renters say they’re continuing to lease instead of buy; 39% of respondents saying they can’t afford a down payment, and 33% saying homeownership is too expensive.

“2020 was a life-changing year for people, industries and businesses across the globe,” says Chase Harrington, Entrata’s president and chief operating officer. “Our survey of U.S. renters shows that many moved to larger spaces to accommodate work-from-home needs, moved back to hometowns, and some even moved to the city to take advantage of lower rental rates. We’re seeing a shift in the industry as renters look for more flexible leasing options and think differently about apartment amenities.”

Nearly half of the respondents – 47% – cited the pandemic as the reason they switched to a month-to-month lease. The top reasons why renters say they moved over the last year are:

  • The cost of rent (27%)
  • Need for more space (24%)
  • Need for a change of pace (18%)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic (16%)

Many rental amenities – like fitness centers, spas, clubhouses, and playgrounds – were closed or strictly regulated over the past year, and only 14% of renters say their rent was decreased because of those restrictions, while the majority felt it should have been due to the closures.

After that experience, renters say on-site amenities won’t influence their decision as much in the future. While 45% say they still want good amenities, they will ultimately choose a property based on location or price.

Source: “Renters on the Move,” Entrata (2021)

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