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Are Millennials the Perpetual Renters? Well, Probably No

February 10, 2020

The Millennial Phenomenon  

Millennials (aka Generation Y) are supposedly too lazy. Too infantile and self-centred. Good at job-hopping, but bad at making financial decisions. They can't afford to buy a home of their own, so they keep living with their parents for longer or renting an apartment for years and years. 

But isn't it a classic stereotype? No doubt typical millennials are idealists. But they're also paying off student loans and saving up for a down payment, all while trying to keep up in a changing world. 

I'm not defending millennials just because I'm one of them. If you look at the facts, it becomes pretty clear that society is putting too much pressure on our generation.

In the rental sector, millennials are long-term renters looking for minimalist apartments close to downtown. Most landlords believe that millenials are planning to rent forever due to a lack of affordable housing across the country. Obviously, it's not the avocado toast to blame.

12% of US millennial tenants are planning to always rent a home. Business insider.
Source: Business Insider 

The rest are focused on purchasing a home of their own in the next few years. 

Millennials are looking for a less expensive home: less than $100.000
Source: Millennials Choosing Cheaper, Smaller Homes

Most of them are not seeking ultra nice living conditions, but rather a comfortable and functional place. 

traits of an average millennial: motivation, tech savviness, multitasking, job-hopping, self-development, smart consumption

Millennials are highly motivated and tech savvy. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center,

86% ol millennials use social media

They are active users of various software systems that optimize their daily tasks. 

When it comes to renting, this generation relies on digital property management systems helping them better manage their time. Also, they're likely to look for a new rental on popular listing platforms and expect everything to be stored in one place. 

By using all-in-one property management software (e.g. TenantCloud), the millennials' renting experience goes much smoother. 

Attitude Towards Renting 

We've asked a few millennials four simple questions about their renting experience. 

Here's what they had to say about the state of renting today.

1. Corrie, 31 y.o. Pasadena, CA  

  • How long have you been renting a home?

I have been renting places ever since I was about 19 years old and until I moved abroad. I lived in Pasadena, California, and was renting places in the area for about 7 years in total.

  • What are the challenges of renting a home?

The challenges are about the same as anywhere else I guess. It's just more expensive in LA. The thing I had the biggest issue I remember dealing with was when my landlord decided to raise the rent. LA is not a rent control city, so that is something that everyone has to be mindful of when renting.

  • What’s nice about renting a home? 

The nice thing about renting a place is having your own privacy and freedom. Living with family is alright, but I never felt like I had too much privacy when I was there. Nowadays for millennial Angelenos, we are becoming more aware that buying a house in the LA area is not really an option due to the high housing prices, so it is good that we could rent a nice place at least. Also, the house parties are a big plus!

  • Do you think that digital property management tools make renting experience easier? Why or why not? 

I'm sure these digital property management tools could be extremely helpful, but I guess I am more old school. I never really used them.

2. James, 25 y.o. Orlando, FL 

  • How long have you been renting a home?

I have been renting a home for four years now.

  • What are the challenges of renting a home?

The biggest challenge of renting a home is not being able to make your home your own. Landlords will usually not allow you to make large changes to your house or apartment because you do not own it. 

  • What’s nice about renting a home? 

What’s nice about renting a home is that if you need to move to a different area, either in your country or to a different country, you are able to move without worrying about selling your home or caring for it. 

  • Do you think that digital property management tools make renting experience easier? Why or why not? 

Yes, digital property management tools make renting drastically easier. It allows you to remove any property that doesn’t suit your needs without having to spend the time or resources of visiting the home. Efficiency is important for a lot of people, especially when looking for a new home. It's important to be able to find a home quickly, and using digital helps in this situation. 

3. Christina, 26 y.o. Toronto, ON 

  • How long have you been renting a home?

I live with my parents so I am lucky that I don't have to pay for rent, but a one bedroom apartment would cost around $1800.

  • What are the challenges of renting and what’s nice about renting a home? 

It would be great to rent an apartment and live alone but the real estate market is very expensive in Toronto. I would have to be renting a place with a roommate.

  • Do you think that digital property management tools make renting experience easier? Why or why not? 

Digital property management tools for sure make things easier. All the information you need about property is in one place and there is one contact person.

Take a look at Christina’s spending habits to see if hypothetically she can afford a home of her own in the next two or three years.

Millennial's spending habits

If you ask a millennial whether they’d like to own a home one day the answer will be...

millennial say yes to buy home

Even so, many are still renting and landlords should be in tune with who their potential tenants are. Here are the reason millennials who are currently renting an apartment aren't going to renew their lease. 

Let's take a look at the stats:

Tenantcloud survey results: rental prices, buying a place of my own, maintainence repairs
Source: TenantCloud Survey Data

What 2020 Has in Store for Millennials

In 2020, some millennials are saving up for a house while others will get closer to becoming homeowners. Those who are still renting will reshape the rental industry by demanding a way more functional and minimalist home.   

Alongside that, millennials who are serious about buying a home and view it as a long-term goal won't fall for traditional advertising hacks. When looking for a place to buy, they will pay attention to smart home features and local coffee houses rather than a well-maintained lawn in the neighborhood. And really, where can they drink coconut milk latte if there are no vegan restaurants nearby? :) 

Do you rent to millennial renters? How long do you think they’re going to rent? Share your thoughts and ideas by leaving comments below. We’d love to hear what you think.