The Updated American Dream: Renting

Industry News,

Two kids, a dog and a white picket fence: It was part of the wholesome American Dream of the past, which included a family, a steady job and a home. 

Fast-forward to 2024 and the outlook has largely shifted. One of the primary traditional components of the American Dream—a home—no longer is as much of a priority. That’s according to Entrata’s recently released The New American Dream Report, which indicates the desire for homeownership is tapering in the modern U.S. 

The report, based on a January survey of 2,000 renters, indicates that flexibility and life experiences have become greater priorities, often superseding the desire to own a home. Among the report’s most telling data points:  

  • 41% of renters claim that their American Dream has nothing to do with homeownership 

  • 20% anticipate being lifelong renters (an uptick from the 15% who indicated the same in 2021) 

  • 23% enjoy the location flexibility provided by renting 

While exorbitant home prices certainly have contributed to the trend, even many who can afford homes aren’t necessarily prioritizing buying one. The report showed that 17% of respondents enjoy the flexibility of not being tied to a mortgage. As such, the term “renter by choice” is becoming more prominent, with many modern Americans OK with exchanging the white picket fence for a community courtyard with multiple gathering spaces. 

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