According to a recent survey by RENTCafe, the number of people searching for an apartment dropped by 25% last week compared with the week before, which is not a surprising number. To drill down a bit deeper, the firm did a survey of 6,000 people searching for rentals on their website to take the temperature of people looking to make a move during the pandemic. The results showed that staying put may just be a temporary thing.
For 56% of respondents, finding an apartment remains a priority and they intend to move as soon as they find new digs. Meanwhile, a 17% share of renters has decided not to move, and another 8% postponed their plans. The postponement question also reveals that 60% said they are not postponing, 14% are waiting until the end of their lease, 13% are waiting until they feel safer, and 9% won’t move until the virus situation is resolved.
When quizzed about their biggest present concerns, the majority (45%) have no particular worries. The biggest general concern for 18% was related to their lease expiring and having to move. Another 18% questioned whether it is safe to move, while 13% cited worries about not being able to pay the rent in the near future.
Almost half of the respondents reported no changes in their renting preferences. However, a notable 28% said they are considering something cheaper than what they looked for initially. For 49%, the current situation has altered their apartment selection process, and 17% are now relying on online pictures or virtual tours.
“Whether it’s because of optimism, forced circumstances, or other personal reasons, finding a home takes priority even in the most troubling of times,” said Alexandra Cintu, RentCafe. “But things tend to develop fast in times of crisis, and, as such, we’ll be interested to see how the renter perception changes as things progress.”