Renters have been more impacted than the pandemic and the resulting downturn than homeowners, according to a new survey from Redfin. The report survey 3,000 residents in October to collect this data.
One of the key findings of the report was the financial stability of homeowners. During the pandemic, 39% of rental households experienced lost wages while only 30% of homeowner households experienced lost wages. This has meant a widening wealth gap between homeowners and renters. “Renters who have lost jobs or wages are likely dipping into savings for daily living expenses, pushing homeownership further out of reach,” Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, said in a statement.
It wasn’t all bad news. According to the Redfin data, 50% of homeowners stated that they are better financial position now than they were four years ago, and 44% of renters made the same claim. On the other hand, 37% of renters responded that they are in a worse financial today than they were four years ago, while only 22% of homeowners made the same claim. The increase in home values may have played a role in improving homeowners’ financial position compared to renters.
A recent report from the National Multifamily Housing Council also found that some renters have been more impacted than others. Employees in the accommodation and food services sectors experienced the most job losses of all sectors, losing over 3.2 million jobs from February through August, according to the report. These employees account for 18% of apartment renters in the US and the highest share of workforce housing residents. Arts, entertainment and recreation also had significant employment loss, falling by 35.2%. These are the tenants that are most likely experiencing financial challenges and challenges paying rent.
The survey also took a look at the disparity between Biden and Trump voters. Renters were more likely to vote for Biden, with 57% of renters claiming to support the Democratic candidate and 32% saying that they supported President Trump. As a result, more Biden supporters also reported that they were in a worse financial position than four years ago. Only 43% of Biden voters claimed that they were in better financial position than four years ago, while 63% made the same claim.
On the homeowner side of the table, political affiliations were split. The survey showed 47% of homeowners were Trump supporters and 46% of homeowners were Biden supporters.