The economic situation among renters appears to be improving – and that’s good news for most Real Estate IRA investors, who tend to focus on income strategies centered around rental properties.
According to a recently-released survey from Freddie Mac, the percentage of renters who now believe they have enough money to last beyond each payday has increased from 34 to 41 percent, while the percentage of renters reporting that they cannot afford household essentials has fallen from 20 percent to 14 percent. This is positive news not only for the renters but also for Real Estate IRA investors.
About 45 percent of those surveyed report that they have enough to make it to payday – a number that remains relatively unchanged compared to last September’s figures.
Furthermore, renters by and large don’t seem to be planning to quit renting any time soon. 29 percent of renters now say they will not move, and will not need to adjust their lifestyle in the event of a rent increase. And more renters are saying they are not interested in becoming homeowners: The percentage of renters who say they are not interested in owning is at the highest it’s ever been at 41 percent. Baby boomers currently renting are saying they have no interest in owning a home, while Millennials are still not piling into the starter-home buyers’ market.
Out of renters who know how much of their monthly income goes to rent, about 4 in 10 report that they are ‘housing burdened.’ That is, 30 percent or more of their monthly income goes to pay for shelter. Millennials and Generation X renters are more likely to be spending at least a third of their incomes on rent than Baby Boomers, who are now beginning to take Social Security and draw pensions and IRAs – pensions most of these Millennials will never see.
Renters in urban areas are struggling, reporting they are more likely to be living paycheck to paycheck compared to suburban and rural renters. However, 7 out of every 10 renters say they are willing to sacrifice space for the rewards of urban living, and are more likely to report they are happy with the decision to rent (though the price of urban property in many cities is well out of their reach to begin with.
There’s been a reduction in the number of renters who want to own and are working towards it: The percentage of renters who report that they are working towards home ownership has fallen by over 25 percent, from 21 percent in January of 2016 to 15 percent in March, 2017. But the percent of renters who want to own but who feel they will never be able to afford to rent has fallen by a third, from 21 percent to 14 percent.
The most recent survey was based on a poll of 1,282 renters, roughly evenly distributed between Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby boomers.
What does this mean for Real Estate IRA investors?
These numbers bode well for Real Estate IRA investors – particularly those concentrating on the income property/rental market. When large numbers of people decide owning isn’t for them, they stay in the rental market, contributing to demand. There is already a shortage of good rental housing in many markets, and Real Estate IRA investors have benefitted strongly from the trend as rents keep rising while new construction in most major markets has not kept pace with the need.
Meanwhile, the improving economic situation among renters may give Real Estate IRA owners some pricing power to increase rents.