Scotsman Guide > News > November 2016 > News Story

 Enter your e-mail address and password below.


Forgot your password? New User? Register Now.

News Archives

Subscribe icon Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, Top News.

Renters say rising utility costs trump rising rents

Renters are more worried about rising utility bills than escalating rents, and they’re willing to pony up more cash to help allay those fears, according to the results of a recent survey.Multifamily

Nearly half of the renters surveyed in a Freddie Mac survey earlier this year said they are more worried about rising utility bills than rising rents, and they’re willing to pay more for rentals with cost-saving water and energy features.

The survey was conducted in September for Freddie Mac by the Harris Poll. The survey’s findings are based on responses from 1,362 renters, spanning from millennials to baby boomers.

It was Freddie Mac’s first survey to include questions about utility costs. Of those surveyed, 70 percent said they are moderately to greatly concerned about higher utility bills, while 63 percent said they were equally concerned about potential rent increases.

Asked whether higher utility bills would have some impact or a great impact on their household finances, 74 percent of the survey’s respondents said yes, nearly matching those who said the same regarding higher rents, at 78 percent.

The vast majority of respondents, 88 percent, said multifamily properties with green energy- and water-saving features would help reduce their utility bills, and 84 percent said green properties are generally better places to live.

Nearly half of the respondents, 47 percent, said they are willing to pay more for an environmentally-friendly rental. Renters in the South and West were more likely to say they would pay more, at 52 percent and 49 percent, respectively, than those in the Midwest or Northeast, at 39 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

“Our research confirms the opportunity for investments in energy efficiency to provide a competitive advantage to multifamily property owners and managers,” said David Brickman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily. “Given the significant burden already posed by rising rents, it is striking that so many are apparently willing to pay more for properties with features they believe will reduce their utility bills.”

Brickman used the results as an opportunity to laud the Freddie Mac Multifamily’s Green Advantage, a program that enables borrowers to increase the size of their loan to finance energy- and water-saving features in affordable housing and older properties.

While more renters say they are satisfied with their rental experience, they also are worried about their financial situations, the survey shows.

Most renters would rather save for emergencies, retirement or their children’s education than save for a downpayment for a home, the survey showed, and 55 percent said they expect to rent their next home. That figure is similar to the results of previous surveys.

“We will continue to monitor the sentiment of renters closely, but for now it appears renter concerns about household finances and rising rents may be stimulating less interest in buying a home and more on renting one with cost-saving features," Brickman said.


Questions? Contact at (425) 984-6017 or

Get the latest news and articles from Scotsman Guide straight to your inbox.

Send me the following e-mails:

Learn more about Scotsman Guide e-mails

Thank you for signing up to receive e-mails from Scotsman Guide.

A confirmation e-mail has been sent to the address you provided.

For questions regarding your e-mail subscriptions please contact or call (800) 297-6061.

Fins A Lender Post a Loan
Residential Find a Lender Commercial Find a Lender
Follow Us:Visit Scotsman Guide Facebook pageVisit Scotsman Guide LinkedIn pageVisit Scotsman Guide Twitter page


© 2019 Scotsman Guide Media. All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy