More renters put moving plays on hold: Freddie

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More renters are optimistic about their financial situations and expect to stay where they are even if their rents increased, according to Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, a declining number of renters say they are working toward homeownership, expect to buy a home, or move within the next few years.

Renters today are also saying it is a good choice for them, expect renting to stay affordable, and would move into a smaller rental unit to be closer to a city.

Conducted in March for Freddie Mac by the Harris Poll, the findings are based on responses from 1,282 renters in urban, suburban and rural markets, including millennials (aged 18-34), Gen Xers (35-49) and baby boomers (50-68).

While sentiments differ among urban, suburban and rural households, nationally those saying they expect to rent their next home increased by four percentage points, to 59% from 55%, since Freddie Mac's last renter survey in September 2016.

"It would appear from our new survey that renters today feel better about their finances, like where they are living, and view renting favorably. This is consistent with findings from earlier surveys that show a steadily growing number of renters have a positive view of renting," said David Brickman, executive vice president of multifamily at Freddie Mac.

According to the survey released Monday, renter sentiments about their financial situation have improved since the government-sponsored enterprise's September survey. Specifically, 41% of renters now say they have enough money to last beyond each payday, up from 34% in September, while those who say they cannot afford essentials fell to 14% from 20%.

Those saying they have enough to cover their expenses from payday to payday remained relatively unchanged, at about 45%.

Financial confidence rose for renters in all age groups no matter where they live. The biggest increases were among rural households, up from 27% to 46%, and baby boomers, up from 38% to 48%.

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