Study: Phoenix renters leaving the state, however renter population remains high

Posted at 5:20 AM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 09:04:32-04

A new study this week from Apartment List states that roughly 68 percent of Phoenix renters were leaving for another state.

The analysis was completed by their annual renter survey. Researchers said they surveyed 24,000 renters.

They asked them, "Do you plan on settling down in another city," and "If you plan on settling in another city, what's your biggest reason for leaving your current city?"

Overall, renters in our state -- along with Texas and Florida -- were still more likely to settle in Arizona.

Despite that 68 percent statistic of renters leaving, research associate Sydney Bennet said the demand for our state is still high. 

"Although some renters want to leave Phoenix, it was still kind of a desirable location for renters in other cities," Bennet explained. "So, you might be seeing some turnover in renters, but definitely not a decrease in the renter population." 

That sentiment is shared by Jacque Petroulakis with NexMetro Communities. Petroulakis represents Avilla Homes. Petroulakis said they have seen very aggressive expansion with roughly 2,300 leased homes built or under construction in 2017 alone. 

Petroulakis cites another new study by National Multifamily Housing Council that finds that the U.S. will need 4.6 million new apartments by 2030.

"Phoenix is one of 10 major metros in America that has been identified as in need for new multifamily housing options," Petroulakis said. "By 2030, they say - it's going to be tough for Phoenix to keep up with the demand."

The study states this shift is happening for a handful of reasons. The big one is simply delayed home purchases. The report saying, "Life events such as marriage and children are the biggest drivers of home ownership." 

The study finds that in 1960, nearly 45 percent of all households in the county were married couples who had children. But, in 2017 that number is down to roughly 19 percent.

"I think the notion of the American dream has evolved into, 'What is great for my lifestyle,'" Petroulakis explained. "... And so what has evolved are more renters by choice."

That notion is shared by Bonny Ortiz, who made that choice to rent, even though she works as a realtor

Ortiz said Avilla Homes was the in-between she needed - single, detached units that made her feel like home, without the commitment. 

"I wasn't quite ready to buy a house because I wasn't quite sure if I was going to stay here in the state of Arizona," Ortiz explained. "But, I'm taking baby steps, so I'm starting with leasing a home."

As for Apartment List's study, they report that there are factors driving people away from the valley. Their top three reasons are jobs, affordability and safety.