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Nearly Half of all Renters are Ex-Homeowners

The lure of homeownership is still strong among both a growing number of former homeowners as well as renters who find themselves renting today, according to a new national survey by

A huge and fast growing number of renters once owned their own homes.  Close to half of all renters (44.1 percent) previously owned a home, up from 35.1 percent in 2013 and 33.6 percent in 2012.

Most, 54 percent, of those former owners wish they still owned a home.   However, 46 percent said that they preferred renting.

Among renters who have never owned a home, a slim majority, 51.2 percent, said they prefer renting,  while 48.8 percent of renters who have never owned a home would like to own a home right now.

Here’s what renters don’t miss in owning a home;

  • Unexpected repairs (leaky toilet, clogged sink, etc.): 59.9 percent
  • Maintenance (don’t need to shovel a driveway, cut grass, etc.): 51.4 percent
  • Inflexibility to move: 51.3 percent

There was a sizeable increase this year in previous homeowners who indicated that they are choosing to rent mainly because they cannot afford homeownership anymore.  The flexibility renting offers in choosing where to live remained the number two reason for the third year in a row.

Below are the top five reasons former homeowners are choosing to rent in 2014 compared to the 2013 survey. The statistics indicate the economy continues to be a driving factor:

  • Can’t afford homeownership anymore: 21.5 percent (up from 14.2 percent in 2013)
  • Flexibility renting offers in choosing where to live: 15 percent (down slightly from 15.7 percent in 2013)
  • Lost home due to foreclosure or divorce: 13 percent (up from 11.2 percent in 2013)
  • To relocate for employment: 12.4 percent (down from 13.3 percent in 2013)
  • Because renting is more affordable: 10.4 percent (down significantly from 22.2 percent in 2013).


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