Not surprisingly, close to half of the surveyed renters said that they are “just getting by,” or living “payday to payday.” 38 percent said that their financial situation is “comfortable,” with extra money to spend beyond what is allocated per payday, and enough to buy the things they want. The remaining 17 percent said that they are “struggling,” and admitted to sometimes not having enough money for their basic needs until their next paycheck. This was in contrast to the surveyed homeowners, where 62 percent said that they were comfortable, 31 percent just getting by, and 7 percent struggling.
Freddie Mac asked the renters on the advantages of their current status, and 78 percent of them said that renting gives them “freedom from home maintenance responsibility.” 68 percent agreed that renting gives them more flexibility and that it gives them a fallback in case home prices go down, while 65 percent said that renting is not as stressful as homeownership.
As for disadvantages, 80 percent agreed that they do not like how landlords tend to rule with their whims, and 61 percent said that renting feels like a waste of money.
However, 91 percent of renters agreed that homeownership is a noble goal and something to be proud of, and 90 percent agreed that one main advantage of owning a home is that you can pass the home to your children. Interestingly, 86 percent agreed that homeownership protects against increases in the cost of rent, making this another leading advantage of owning a home. 50 percent, however, said that they feel owning a home is too much of a responsibility, and 25 percent admitted to having no plans of being a homeowner.
Financial variables were the main reasons why 61 percent of renters said they may likely continue renting over the coming three years; 50 percent said they cannot afford a down payment, and 38 percent said they would not be able to make their mortgage payments. 31 percent felt their credit was not good enough to own a home. However, 39 percent of all renters surveyed said that they hope to buy a home within the coming three years, with younger consumers being most likely to feel that way.
Commenting on the statistics on the report, Freddie Mac Multifamily president David Brickman said that money remains a problem for the majority of renters, just as it has in years past. “Many renters are not buying homes because of a perceived lack of ability to afford the down payment or mortgage and poor credit history,” he added. “But there also is a segment of renters who simply do not want the responsibilities of owning a home.”