Nearly 50% More Renters Moving Back in With Parents Than Last Year

Nearly 50% More Renters Moving Back in With Parents Than Last Year

1 in 4 renters relocated in the past year
A mother and son making dinner

Renters have not escaped the financial pressures triggered by the pandemic, and some are moving in with parents and significant others in search of some relief.

Millennials are leading the way when it comes to renters who are returning home to live with mom and dad, according to new research by rental marketplace Zumper. While nearly 50% more renters of all ages are moving back in with their parents in 2020 compared to this time last year, the percentage of millennials doing so is up 75% this year.

With financial challenges likely to continue, many renters are frustrated about the current economy, but most are not giving up on their eventual dreams of homeownership.

Relocation common among renters

For many renters, 2020 has not been a year to stay in one place. In fact, about a quarter of respondents — 24.50% — said they have relocated from one city to another in the past year, up 33% from 2019. In addition to moving back in with their parents, 7% more renters now live with their significant other compared to last year.

The largest percentage of renters — 27% — relocated due to a professional opportunity. An earlier survey found that many Americans were thinking about relocating because the increase in remote opportunities driven by the pandemic has made it easier to work from anywhere.

Other motivations for renters’ relocations included:

  • Personal reasons (22%)
  • Family reasons (21%)
  • Cost of living (13%)
  • Try something new (10%)

Renters discouraged by the economy

When asked whether the economy was in good condition, well over half of respondents — 61% — said no. Some renters have experienced major challenges due to the pandemic:

  • 15% of respondents were laid off
  • 12% missed at least one rent payment
  • 9% were furloughed

Even in the early days of the pandemic renters struggled, as a previous survey found that more than a third or renters had lost at least half of their income in April.

Additionally, the survey found that renters were evenly divided on whether they believed this is a good time to buy a house. It’s important to note that not all renters are sold on the idea of homeownership in the first place. Among respondents, 69% said they believe homeownership is part of the American Dream, a 3-point increase from 2019. However, that leaves nearly 1 in 3 renters who don’t see homeownership as a major financial goal at all. In fact, 26% of renters said they never intend to purchase a home.

When those who do plan to pursue the path of homeownership were asked about their timeframe for doing so, respondents gave the following estimates:

  • Within the next 2 years (35%)
  • In 3 to 5 years (29%)
  • In 6 to 9 years (7%)
  • In 10 or more years (4%)

As far as what is driving their decision on whether to buy a house or continue renting, respondents cited the following factors:

  • Their financial situation (79%)
  • Family size (27%)
  • Mortgage rates (26%)
  • Ease of living (20%)
  • Taxes (14%)

Methodology: Zumper surveyed 14,321 renters, aged 18 and over, between June and August 2020. Respondents represented all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Note: The Zumper survey didn’t include definitions for the various generations, but many pollsters use cutoffs similar to those of Pew Research, which describes Generation Z as those ages 18-23, millennials as those 24-39, Generation X as ages 40-55 and baby boomers as 56-74.