The prospect of owning a home has always factored into the timing of multifamily residents departing their communities. But in the past few years, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of residents likely to vacate who say that home purchase is a determining factor. As seen in the chart below, almost 1 in 5 vacating residents (those saying they are unlikely to renew) cited “home purchase” as a factor in 2007. In both 2010 and 2011, however, that ratio fell to less than 1 in 8.
Of note is that the trend did stabilize in 2011. Will more residents be willing and able to jump (back?) into the ownership market in 2012 and beyond? Historically low interest rates and continued attractive pricing might suggest so. Or will tighter requirements for down payments and continued employment and economic uncertainty continue to encourage renting by choice?