First-Time Renters Leaving Roommates Behind

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First-time renters searching for apartments outside city center.

The next generation of renters are making their way into the workforce and out of school. Zumper surveyed 700 first-time renters to find out search habits and what they are looking for in their first apartment.

Going with the narrative of renters migrating from city living, 53% said they would rather be in a rural area than urban, but many want to be close to work or school—47% said being near the office or school was their top priority.

Nearly two-fifths said their budget is below the national median one-bedroom average rent of $1,400. A quarter of respondents report they are receiving financial help from family members. First-time renters also said they rather have a smaller apartment (59%) than have roommates (19%) to find a more affordable apartment.

Having roommates is a major challenge for first-time renters, who said messiness (41%) was their top pet peeve. Nearly two-thirds of respondents wouldn’t live with a smoker, and noisiness (14%) was also a deciding factor.