Renters’ Priorities Shift from Cheaper to More Space

In March 2020, right after the first lockdowns, RENT Café asked renters about their moving plans. Despite the overall optimism, “safety” was their main concern and “price” the top preference. But one year of pandemic has impacted renters’ choices significantly. According to our latest survey of 10,000 visitors, “more space” beats “cheaper,” as people now look for better deals with open-air amenities and more living space – preferably in the city they already live in.

Here are more details about how the pandemic affected the apartment selection process:

  • Lifestyle improvement is the main motivator for those looking to rent after one year of pandemic. 41% of renters picked “open-air amenities” and “more space” as their most essential apartment features in 2021, outranking by far WFH amenities such as “home office” (5%) or “good internet connection” (10%).
  • The reasons for moving are within the same spectrum: “looking for better deals” was the top answer for 29% of renters, followed by “the need for a change of scenery” (25%).
  • When asked how the pandemic affected their apartment selection process, 28% of renters said they prefer a place to live by themselves. “Something cheaper” (25%) and “something larger” (19%) were next on the priority list.
  • 90% of renters look for long-term rentals. Moreover, 48% wish to remain in the same city they currently live in, which once again shows that improving housing conditions is the goal, not necessarily a drastic change like moving to a different city.
  • Many of those who moved in the spring of 2020 seemed to have done so out of need, not because they wanted to. “Expiring lease” was the main reason for moving (26%), while a significant share of renters was concerned whether they’d be “able to pay rent during this time” (32%).

Read the full report here

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