The results come as a surprise, especially in the face of rising rents, which are now above 5% annually worldwide.
Aside from revealing renter priorities, the survey discovered that more renters are changing their spending habits due to higher rents. More than half of those surveyed who have experienced an increase in their rent say they are living payday to payday.
"We know rents are rising faster than incomes, and now we have data to show that many renters don't have enough to pay all their debts each month, which is forcing them to make tradeoffs, such as cutting spending on other items," commented Freddie Mac Multifamily executive vice president David Brickman.
In the previous Freddie Mac renter survey in June, 44% of respondents said that they have put off plans to purchase a home. That figure rose to 55% in the latest survey.
Rising home prices and mortgage interest rates are further discouraging renters from making a purchase, the survey suggests.
The survey asked respondents for a good reason why they would continue to rent for the next three years, and the results revealed that the top three answers to the question all had to do with affordability. The fourth most popular reason was poor credit ratings.
The survey found that renters prioritized saving for emergencies first (59%), followed by retirement (51%), and children’s education (50%) over saving for a down payment, which is at 39%.