More than two-thirds (67 percent) of those currently renting in the United States will not buy a home in the next year, according to a survey conducted by the National Apartment Association (NAA).
Additionally, 69 percent of current renters plan to stay in an apartment for up to five more years before considering homeownership.
Half of renters surveyed plan to continue living in their current apartment for the next year, while 72 of homeowners surveyed plan to remain in their current home over the same period.
Renting is also seen as more favorable than owning in the current market, with 71 percent saying there are advantages to renting and 48 percent citing financial reasons such as avoiding unpredictable mortgage rates and slumping house values.
Interestingly, 39 percent of those surveyed said renters and homeowners are being equally affected by the current mortgage crisis, which illustrates its far-reaching impact.
With regard to the near future, the group found that 80 percent of consumers believe the current housing mess won’t improve or could potentially get worse over the next six months.
The good news (for apartment owners) is that occupancy rates in rental units have seen the greatest annual increase since 1965, a whopping 1.5 million unit boost.
Apartment occupancy rates have also reached their all-time high and the number of rental housing units in the country now totals an all time record of 34.7 million units, enough to accommodate roughly 83 million people.
NAA President Douglas Culkin said that a recent Commerce Department report noted that the main reason for an increase in U.S. homebuilding was the construction of rental properties, not single-family homes.