By Todd Williams, Chief Investment Officer
While the nation grapples with an epidemic of loneliness, young renters appreciate the importance of community and understand the role their living situation plays in their well-being. Higher rent and inflation, meanwhile, remain top of mind.
For the second consecutive year, Grubb Properties and Wakefield Research polled 1,000 American renters aged 22–35 in apartment communities to gauge their attitudes and perspectives on the current rental and economic environment, as part of our 2023 State of the Young American Renter Survey. This year, we further refined the survey group to those living in apartment communities of 10 units or more in the 100 largest US metropolitan areas.
Of these renters, an impressive 72% value the importance of connections to their neighbors, while more than half (56%) said their current rental situation has a positive impact on their personal well-being.
And most are happy with their current rental. Three out of four (77%) stated they were at least somewhat satisfied with their current apartment, with almost half (46%) stating they were completely, or very satisfied.
“At our Link Apartments℠, our intent has always been to provide accessible housing and to foster vibrant communities,” said Todd Williams, Grubb Properties' Chief Investment Officer. “By providing communal spaces, shared amenities, and group activities, as well as selecting desirable and connected locations, we strive to create an environment that fosters interaction with neighbors and promotes the overall well-being of our residents. The results of this survey validate our approach.”
While connection remains crucial, financial worries cast a long shadow:
More than three-quarters (78%) of young renters reported a rent hike in the past year, whereas 22% said their rent stayed the same or declined.
Of those who experienced an increase, nine out of ten (90%) either plan to or have already taken action to address the higher rents. Almost half (44%) stated that they would be cutting back on extra purchases, while more than a third (37%) stated they would look for a new job or take on a second job. One in ten (10%) said they could handle the higher rent without making any changes.
When asked to rank five economic concerns, rental increases topped the list, with 33% choosing it as their largest financial worry. Perhaps surprisingly, given the resumption of federal loan payments, student loan repayment was cited only by 10% as their primary concern.
Despite these concerns, young renters are optimistic about their financial prospects. Two-thirds (65%) state their financial situation will be at least somewhat better a year from now.
Click here to download the full Executive Summary of 2023’s State of the Young American Renter Survey.
The Grubb Properties State of the Young American Renter Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 young apartment renters (defined as renters ages 22–35) living in apartment buildings with 10 or more units in the top 100 Designated Marketing Area markets, between September 1–19, 2023, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
Due to rounding, numbers presented throughout this document may not add up precisely to the totals provided and percentages may not precisely reflect the absolute figures.
Chief Investment Officer of Grubb Properties