Renters Optimistic About Moving Plans Amid COVID-19 Scare, Survey Says

Moving is never easy, and anything that delays the process adds to the stress and displeasure of the renter. The outbreak of a novel virus is more than enough reason to put a pin on moving plans, but some renters caught in-between homes prefer or have to carry on.

To find out more about the renter mindset in these troubling times, RENTCafé conducted a survey among 6000 renters searching for their new home on our website. Despite the apartment search volume dropping 25% just in the past week, most renters currently in need of a home seem optimistic and continue undeterred and have not reported any significant changes to their initial moving plans.

For the vast majority of respondents, finding an apartment remains a priority even during these times. 56% said they would move as soon as they find an apartment compared to 17% who prefer to press pause on apartment searches and keep living where they do now and 16% who haven’t decided yet. 8% of them plan on postponing the whole moving process, while 3% consider renewing their current lease instead.

Renters seem optimistic about moving now with 45% of respondents having no particular worries during this time. On the other hand, 18% of them reported pondering whether it’s safe to move now or not, as another 18% are concerned about their lease expiring and having to move regardless. Understandably, more than 13% are worried about finances and paying rent, while 5% weigh in on whether they should renew their current lease or not.

60% of respondents have no interest in postponing their move-out date, while 14% plan on staying put until the end of their lease. As 13% put safety as their main reason for waiting it out, 9% plan on postponing until the entire crisis is resolved. 4% of renters who visited RENTCafé plan on staying put until their landlord informs them they have to leave.

When it comes to the possibility of extending their current lease, the answers are almost equally divided, which reflects renter market diversity. 52% of respondents cannot continue living past their leave date, while 48% are able to extend their lease.

Almost half of the respondents reported no changes in their renting preferences following the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). At the same time, 28% are now considering something cheaper than what they looked for before, while 15% say they are now paying more attention to how clean a potential new apartment is. Opinions are almost equally divided when it comes to living with roommates under these circumstances:  5% would still share quarters with someone, while 4% are no longer considering that due to health reasons.

Recent developments haven’t affected too much the way renters select an apartment as there is no change in the rental selection process for more than half of the respondents. 17% make their decision based on online pictures and virtual property tours, while 12% of them consider picking anything available just to speed up the moving process. 9% still plan on visiting properties, just fewer of them, as 8% have put their selection process on hold for now. Among the ones who took the survey, just 4% say they are now avoiding visiting properties in order to make a decision.

These survey results go to show that, whether it’s because of optimism, forced circumstances or other personal reasons, it’s safe to say that finding a home takes priority even in the most troubling of times.

Source: RentCafe