The number of renters who strongly intend to renew their current leases declined during the first quarter of this year, the fifth consecutive period it has done so.
Researchers say that about 65 percent of survey respondents indicated they would "probably" or "definitely" renew their leases less than two years ago, compared to 58.5 percent in the most recent poll. The Kingsley Associates survey found that there may be a number of factors at work, contributing to this change. Among these is the difference in renter demographics, spurred partly by the recession and its financial consequences.
Fewer American renters have children than was typical in the past, the report indicates, and higher incomes are more common. More of today's tenants have already lived in their current apartment for over a year, as well. Researchers noted that some of those who did not say they are planning to renew may simply be waiting or have grown more cautious about setting plans, while some may be former homeowners looking to return to the single-family market.
Rental property management professionals and apartment stakeholders have recently cited high demand and rent increases as factors that are contributing to lower renewal rates as well. Several firms have recently indicated that, while they are experiencing higher turnover, vacancy rates and periods are relatively low nonetheless. Despite the relatively low percentage planning to renew, the Kingsley Associates survey did find that resident satisfaction is high, supporting the conclusion that other factors are causing this trend.