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2002 Rental Housing Survey

A telephone survey of Fargo renters, commissioned by the City of Fargo Department of Planning and Development and conducted by Davison Research, shows that the characteristics of Fargo renters have not changed significantly since 1998. The survey results also confirm that there is a great diversity in the housing and homeownership preferences of Fargo renters.

Some of the key findings include:

Homeownership Preferences

  • Almost one-third of renters (30%) are very interested in owning a home. Of the group that is "very interested" in homeownership, 31% want to buy a home within the next year (this is equivalent to 10% of the total renters surveyed). There are approximately 22,000 rental households in Fargo, which means that approximately 2,200 households will be actively seeking homeownership opportunities in the next year.
  • 52% of renters prefer renting to homeownership when asked, this group stated that they are not at all interested in buying a home.

Why rent?

  • Convenience and cost are the two primary reasons Fargo renters rent instead of own.

Who rents in Fargo?

  • 49% of renters are under age 35; another 28% are over age 65.
  • 17% of renters report having children under age 18 in their household.
  • 54% of renters are single and 26% are married.
  • More than half of Fargo renters (55%) have lived in Fargo for at least six years.
  • 41% of renters have previously owned a house.
  • 44% of Fargo renters work full-time, 7% work part-time, 26% are retired, and 15% are students.
  • 38% of Fargo renters pay more than $500 per month in rent. When this survey was done in 1998, only 20% of renters paid more than $500 per month in rent.

The goal of the survey is to provide the Department of Planning and Development with up-to-date information on the housing preferences of renters. The survey focused on two key areas: 1) factors affecting decisions in the process of renting an apartment, and 2) plans for future home ownership by those who rent. A similar survey was completed in 1998.

Executive Summary and Survey Report

Data Charts that describe the demographic profile of Fargo renters

Data for specific sub-groups of Fargo Renters

Comparative tables (comparing 1998 to 2002 survey results)

All files are in PDF format and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.