Nearly one in five renters plans to buy a home in the next year, and 40 percent don’t plan on being renters two years from now, according to a survey commissioned by the National Apartment Association.

Some 17 percent of renters said they planned to buy a home within the next year, and 25 percent said they planned to look for a new rental. Only 50 percent said they planned to continue to rent their current residence for longer than a year, and another 13 percent were not sure what they would do.

In a press release, the National Apartment Association said the survey demonstrates that renters are generally staying put. The association also provided Inman News with a more detailed report of the survey results by Harris Interactive, the group that conducted the research.

The survey of 2,041 adults included 1,258 homeowners, 563 renters and 220 "others," such as adults living with their parents.

Among those surveyed, 64 percent owned a home, townhome, condominium or co-op apartment — in line with the national average. One in four respondents were renters, with 9 percent of those surveyed renting a house and 16 percent renting an apartment, townhome or condo. The remaining 11 percent were defined as "other."

Among homeowners, 72 percent said they planned to continue living in their current home for at least a year, while 6 percent said they planned to buy a new home. Only 2 percent of homeowners expected to become renters within the next year.

Among those who said they were neither homeowners nor renters, 12 percent said they expected to rent their own place within a year, and 5 percent said they expected to buy a home.

All of those polled — homeowners, renters and others — were asked for their views on housing markets. Slightly more than half expected housing markets would get better (20 percent) or stay the same (32 percent) in the next six months, while 48 percent expected them to get worse.

A slight majority of those polled — 54 percent — thought the financial security of homeowners is more affected by the current state of housing markets than renters.

All respondents were asked, "Given the current state of the real estate market, which of the following, if any, do you think are advantages of renting versus owning?"

Some 71 percent of respondents saw advantages to renting, including "no responsibility for major repairs or maintenance," statistically unchanged from 70 percent a year ago.

But the percentage of respondents who saw financial advantages to renting, including not being susceptible to foreclosure, not being impacted by an unpredictable real estate marketplace, and increases and decreases in interest rates, rose to 48 percent, up from 43 percent in 2007.

Asked to look five years into the future, only 31 percent of renters expected to still have a landlord, with most saying they planned to make the move to home ownership within three years. Cumulatively, 41 percent of renters said they no longer expected to be renting after two years, 56 percent said they would not be renting in three years, 60 percent in four years, and 69 percent within five years.


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