Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Renters Moving Where the Jobs Are And Using The Internet To Find Their Next Home

For the first time in years, the apartment rental market is beginning to experience signs of recovery as the U.S. economy slowly begins to strengthen. Reuters reported the rental vacancy rate fell to 9.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 from 10.3 percent in the July-September period—the lowest since the second quarter of 2007. Witten Advisors predicts rents will increase 4.5 percent in 2011 as operators become aggressive in raising rents with little fear of losing customers to other housing options. In response to this news, Apartments.com conducted a national survey to more than 1,800 of its January website visitors to find out about their 2011 moving plans, including reasons they are moving, when they plan to move and which tools they value most during their apartment search. With almost 30% of survey respondents looking to move for employment reasons, exactly how are these renters finding a new place to live?

According to the Apartments.com survey, renters are tapping multiple resources to find their next apartment. While 81 percent of Apartments.com visitors surveyed said they are using an Internet Listing Service (ILS) during their apartment search, they are also utilizing popular search engines, listening to recommendations from others and reading their local newspapers. Only five percent said they are using social media websites during their search. Renters ranked their top apartment shopping tools as follows:

  1. Internet Listing Service (e.g. Apartments.com, Rent.com and MyNewPlace.com): (80.9%)
  2. Online apartment classified listing websites (e.g. Craigslist and Oodle):(46.2%)
  3. Search engines: (38.4%)
  4. Word of mouth: (31.1%)
  5. Local newspaper: (27.1%)
Click here to read the full press release from Apartments.com.