Housing Market Measures

Has The American Dream Changed?

Americans placing higher value on renting than home ownership

A new report from Entranta reveals 41% of renters say their American Dream has nothing to do with homeownership and 20% expect to be lifelong renters, an increase of 33% from 2021. View the complete report here.

LEHI, Utah, March 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Entrata, a leading AI-enabled multifamily industry operating system, today announced The New American Dream report, which found that the American Dream is changing as more people are renting by choice and not because they can’t afford to own a home. In fact, 1 in 5 (20%) expect to be lifelong renters, an increase of 33% percent from 2021 (15%). This further highlights a clear evolution in consumer psychology as home ownership is no longer perceived as the only path to obtaining the American Dream.

“Today’s apartment residents are reshaping the traditional American Dream to fit what’s most important to them, including flexibility, prime amenities offered in their communities and the ability to live life on their terms,” said Adam Edmunds, Chief Executive Officer of Entrata. “Many renters no longer see the need to be tied to a home and a mortgage when apartment communities provide everything they need. Experiences seem to be at the core of the new American Dream and renters are making the most of them.”

The New American Dream

For many apartment residents today, not all roads to the American Dream lead to homeownership, instead, they’re increasingly expecting to rent for the long haul as they invest in other areas to build their quality of life. Emphasizing this further, the report found that 41% of renters say their American Dream has nothing to do with homeownership.

This is in large part because renting offers flexibility and freedom that fits their lifestyle and finances. Highlighting this further, 66% of renters say renting fits their current lifestyle more than owning a home and 23% of renters like the location flexibility renting gives them.

Renting: It’s Not Just About The Money

The outdated notion that renters are either too young or financially unable to buy a house is a thing of the past. Today’s renters are well-established and confident in their professional position. As a matter of fact, 1 in 3 renters (33%) say they could afford a home that meets their needs in 2024, and a quarter (25%) of renters with a strong credit score (above 750) never want to stop renting. Renting also offers flexibility and freedom that fits their lifestyle and finances:

  • 66% of renters say renting fits their current lifestyle more than owning a home.
  • 23% of renters like the location flexibility renting gives them and 17% like the financial flexibility of not being tied to a mortgage.
Today's apartment residents are reshaping the traditional American Dream to fit what's most important to them, including flexibility, prime amenities offered in their communities and the ability to live life on their terms...

Entrata found that 46% of renters have the financial means to pursue their hobbies and 65% are happy with the direction of their career, with 73% seeing a path to pursue their career goals. Additionally, more than a third (35%) say being a renter gives them more career opportunities than being a homeowner. A majority of renters (63%) even feel they have a similar or better quality of life than their parents at a similar age.

With credit card debt skyrocketing and rainy day funds plummeting, renters are prioritizing other financial goals over saving for a home:

  • 56% of renters say they’re prioritizing paying off debts right now rather than saving and 43% prefer to have their savings in investments and retirement strategies that are easy to liquidate rather than real estate.
  • More than a third (36%) of renters prefer to invest in retirement than save for a home.
  • Nearly three-quarters of renters (74%) are spending their discretionary money on experiences like dining, international travel, and entertainment (e.g. concerts, sporting events, etc.).

A Strong Community

Undeterred by the lack of a traditional backyard, renters are proud of where they’ve chosen to live and are choosing to make it their home by hosting social gatherings with neighbors, friends, and family by leveraging dedicated common areas that their apartment community provides them. Entrata found that:

  • 40% of renters have been able to use communal spaces of their apartment community for social gatherings.
  • More than a third (34%) of renters have their friends or family over at least once a month.
  • 29% of renters said they’d be interested in spending time with friends in community spaces at their apartment at least once a month.

They not only like to entertain, but they’re good neighbors and enjoy being a part of an apartment community:

  • 67% of renters have helped neighbors in their apartment community; 61% have had neighbors help them.
  • 51% of renters enjoy the community aspect of living in an apartment.

To read the full report, click here. For more information about Entrata and its technology, please visit www.entrata.com.

 

 

 

About The Research
Entrata conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method Research and distributed by PureSpectrum among n=2,000 U.S. renters in large (50+ unit) apartment communities. Data was collected between January 3 and January 12, 2024.
About Entrata
Entrata is a leading AI-enabled operating system for multifamily communities worldwide. Setting the bar for innovation in property management software since 2003, Entrata offers solutions for every step of the leasing lifecycle and empowers owners, property managers, and renters to create stronger communities. Entrata currently serves over three million residents across more than 26 thousand multifamily communities around the globe. Learn more at www.entrata.com.