Renters by Choice

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Apartment living was once reserved for those who couldn’t afford to own a home. Not any more. In Fannie Mae’s 2001 National Housing Survey, 41% of renters surveyed say they rent “as a matter of choice.”

September 30, 2001

Apartment living was once reserved for those who couldn’t afford to own a home. Not any more. In Fannie Mae’s 2001 National Housing Survey, 41% of renters surveyed say they rent "as a matter of choice." This number represents a significant increase over the two previous years - 32% in 2000 and 28% in 1999.

Changing demographics is the key reason apartment demand is up, according to Doug Bibby, president of the National Multi Housing Council. Census Bureau data project big growth in the population groups most likely to choose apartment living - young adults, single-person households and married couples without children. NMHC analysis of the bureau’s 2000 Current Population Survey found that in the past three years households making $50,000 or more have been the fastest-growing segment of the apartment market. After an average annual growth rate of 8% for several years, there are now more than 5 million apartment renter households making more than $50,000.

New apartment designs and amenities also are making this a more desirable housing option. Apartments are larger and offer many upgraded features: attached garages, high-speed Internet access, whirlpool tubs, business centers and on-site concierge service.

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