Who is my Renter?

Contributing Writer, B2R Finance | Real Estate Investment,Renters

Who is my Renter?

Renters and homeowners aren’t peas in a pod. Each group has unique characteristics.

Knowledge is power, and knowing these characteristics can help real estate investors and rental property managers make smart decisions in reaching out and meeting the needs of consumers who are most likely to be tenants in single-family homes —the fastest growing segment of the rental market.

The single-family rental sector — detached one-unit homes — had 27.4 percent of the rental market in 2010 but now commands 28.8 percent of that sector, according to the most recent American Community Survey data.

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) is a survey that goes out to about 3 million people annually and gathers a wide variety of detailed statistical data, including information about housing.


Renters tend to be younger than homeowners. Younger people — the millennial generation — are less likely to have the income to buy a home. And when they do get their first job, they are likely to be a renter, at least initially.

The largest share of renters falls between the ages of 25 to 34 years. This bracket captures 26.4 percent of all renters, or about 11 million people. The next largest group of renters, about 8.7 million, are between the ages of 35 to 44.

In contrast, the biggest group of homeowners, nearly 17 million or 22.7 percent, fall between the ages of 45 to 54.


The median household income of renting households is less than owner-occupants.

Renting households had a median household income of $31,888 versus $65,514 for owner-occupant households. Some of this discrepancy might be due to household size, as renter households tend to be smaller than owner households.

In addition, 26.1 percent of renter-occupied units were single-income households. In comparison, only 13.3 percent of owner-occupied units are single-income households.


The average renter-occupied household size was 2.54 occupants, according to the 2013 ACS, compared to the average owner-occupied household size of 2.71 occupants.

See latest American Community Survey for more information on housing and renters.

The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment, real estate, or legal advice. This information should not be regarded as a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any product or service to which this information may relate. No representations or warranties whatsoever, express or implied, are given as to the accuracy or applicability of the information contained herein. The information may be modified or rendered incorrect by changes in the marketplace or developments in the law, or for any other reason, and may not be applicable to any individual reader’s facts and circumstances.