The needs and wants of renters and homeowners aren’t so very different, as evidenced by the Urban Land Institute’s America in 2013 housing survey: both demographics are big fans of mixed-use communities.
The Washington, D.C.-based organization recently surveyed more than 1,200 participants on their views on housing, transportation, and community. The survey gave a closer look into renter values and demographics, forecasting how the industry will adapt to serve the 62 percent of renters who said they anticipated moving again in the next five years.
The Gen Y and African-American demographics were the highest in terms of renters who were most likely to move in the next five years, each with 63 percent. Overall, about 62 percent of all Americans planning to move in the next five years would prefer to go to a mixed-use community.
In terms of important community characteristics, both renters and homeowners chose neighborhood safety and the quality of public schools as the top two most-desired attributes. But where homeowners tapped "Space Between Neighbors" as their No. 3 concern, renters chose walkability as the third most important attribute.
Proximity to work/school was the fourth most-desired attribute, and that consideration may even trump square footage. The majority of both renters and homeowners say they would be OK with trading a shorter commute for a smaller home–about 61 percent of respondents said they wouldn't mind that trade-off.
The preference for suburbs or small towns is still strong: Only 28 percent of respondents said they prefer living in a medium-sized or big city, But the pull of urban living is strongest in some key demographics; about 43 percent of all Latinos surveyed prefer city life, as do 40 percent of Gen Y members.
Check out ULI’s video below to learn more about its demographic study, and see where the industry is headed in housing renters for the next five years.