Renters more likely to be dissatisfied with homes, survey finds

Close to half of people renting are unhappy about the properties they live in, according to a new report from marketing communications group Core.

This was a much lower rate of satisfaction than that reported by mortgage holders, 79 per cent of whom said they were satisfied with their homes, and people who own their homes outright, who were found to have a satisfaction rate of 86 per cent.

Almost half of people renting are aged between 35 and 54, and 55 per cent of them are couples with and without children, Core said, contradicting the stereotype that most tenants are younger and often single adults.

While the majority of renters (67 per cent) said they were satisfied with the area they live in, the rates were higher again for mortgage holders and homeowners, at 81 per cent and 85 per cent respectively.

But positivity about location was not matched by satisfaction with living spaces.

Property suitability

Although renters were most likely to be dissatisfied – reflecting concerns about the standard of rental accommodation in the State and a housing supply crisis that keeps people renting for longer than they wish – almost one-third of mortgage holders said they did not want to stay in their current property in the long term. Some 23 per cent of borrowers said their homes were not suited to their needs.

“Feeling safe” was the aspect of their homes that people rated the highest, with renters again less positive about personal safety than mortgageholders and homeowners. The aspect of their homes that people rated lowest was their available storage space.

The Core Living and Housing Report is based on a demographically and geographically representative survey of 1,000 people conducted in August by Core Research.

The exclusion of more people from opportunities to decorate, customise or invest in a home as their family grows will have a “significant impact” on how brands communicate with people “starting out”, Core said.

Market changes

“The modern-day profile of renters needs to be recognised as not only young people starting out,” said Core marketing director Finian Murphy. “Many renters are now young families at that key household-formation stage of life. It is important to recognise that the traditional family first home is becoming less of a realisation for many.”

Because more people are renting for longer periods, renters are increasingly in the market for bigger-ticket items – including bedroom, kitchen and living room furniture – and should not be ignored, Core said.

Asked about how their areas have changed since the Covid-19 crisis, one in three adults said they felt the upkeep of public parks, the sense of community and the cleanliness of their town have improved in the last two years, the research found.

The aspects of their area that are perceived to have worsened – local traffic, job opportunities, banking services and anti-social behaviour – can, in part, be linked to changes brought about by the pandemic.

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