How is life changing for renters during COVID-19? Apartment Guide counts the ways

Noble Horvath

How has COVID-19 changed the lives of apartment renters throughout the country? More are wearing masks, with many wearing them every time they leave their apartments. Those hunting for apartments are often relying on virtual tours of available units. And more renters are working from home and relying on food-delivery […]

How has COVID-19 changed the lives of apartment renters throughout the country? More are wearing masks, with many wearing them every time they leave their apartments. Those hunting for apartments are often relying on virtual tours of available units. And more renters are working from home and relying on food-delivery services several times a week.

These are just some of the trends uncovered in Apartment Guide’s New Normal study. Apartment Guide surveyed more than 1,000 renters to discover how COVID-19 has changed their lives, publishing the results in mid-September.

And what did Apartment Guide find? First, they discovered that a majority of the renters they surveyed are frequent mask wearers. According to the survey, 74.9 percent of respondents said they wear masks when out in public all the time, with an additional 12.4 percent saying they wear them some of the time. A total of 10.2 percent of respondents say they only wear a mask when it is required by a business, while 2.5 percent said they never wear one.

Apartment Guide found that 54.6 percent of respondents said they always wear masks when in apartment common areas, while 23.7 percent said they wore one some of the time. Slightly more than 21 percent of respondents said they never wear a mask when in apartment common areas.

Female renters are more likely to wear a mask in apartment common areas. According to the survey, 56.2 percent of females said they always wear a mask in apartment common areas, while a total of 52.9 percent of male respondents said the same.

COVID-19 has also impacted the way renters conduct apartment searches. About one-third of renters told Apartment Guide that they’ve done more virtual tours in the the last six month and 35.7 percent said they plan to do more of these tours in the next year.

Renters have also changed some of their habits during the pandemic. According to the survey, 50.9 percent of renters said they have used a food delivery service more often in the last six months. This might not be a long-term trend, though. Only 37.9 percent of renters said that they plan to use food delivery services more often than usual in the next year.

Work looks different today for many renters, too. A total of 54.8 percent of renters told Apartment Guide that they have worked more from home in the last six months. The survey also found that 42.2 percent of respondents plan to work more from home in the next year. A total of 61.2 percent of respondents said that they anticipate having greater work flexibility in the next five years.

Virtual versions of common activities have also become more popular during the pandemic. A total of 40 percent of survey respondents predicted that telemedicine visits will become more common, while 46.7 percent said that virtual learning will do the same.

But first dates? Only 6 percent of renters surveyed said that virtual first dates will become more common in the next five years.

Look for travel numbers to continue to fall, too. The Apartment Guide survey found that 36.2 percent of respondents estimate that they’ll travel less for vacation or work in the next year. However, 35.4 percent predicted that they’ll do about the same amount of travel during the next 12 months.

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