Maybe we have reached the “Googling new apartments for fun” stage of quarantine, but the spike in activity on RENTCafé may also reveal a renewed interest in renting, especially when coupled with the website’s latest survey results. Though RentalCafé’s activity decreased in mid-March, declining up to 25 percent from March 11-17, April numbers are much stronger. And in the latest survey, the number of those who plan to move as soon as they find an apartment jumped 10 points to 62 percent of the respondents. Though Americans are still adjusting to daily life during a pandemic, these results give hope that people are finding their footing as best they can and some are ready to cautiously wade back into making long-term decisions.
Online search activity in April shows a surge of renewed interest by prospective renters in getting back into the game after putting their apartment hunting on pause. Searches for apartments dropped sharply in mid-March when shelter-in-place orders began to take effect to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Analysts for RENTCafé, an apartment listing website, saw a 25% decline in the number of renters searching for apartments from March 11-17 as Americans began adapting to a temporary normal. Now levels of apartment search activity that the company is tracking suggest many potential renters are already back in the market for apartments or at least eyeing options for when the economy bounces back.