The Hottest Multifamily Trends You Should Know About

Updated: Jan 9

There are changes happening across the multifamily arena that is drawing interest from both tenants and property owners and managers alike. The changes are reshaping the way multifamily apartments are designed as well as the scope of amenities being offered.

This helps draw a better caliber of tenant to the multifamily housing market, and present property managers and owners with an opportunity to offer high-demand services that result in increased rents. We’ll take a closer look at what some of the hottest trends are and how they could apply to different types of multifamily properties.

What Renters Are Looking For

Before taking a closer look at the trends that are emerging in the multifamily arena, let’s look at what renters take notes on when assessing apartments. According to a survey conducted by Utah-based Entrata, a multifamily technology company, price is the number one attribute (74%), followed by the neighborhood where the apartment is located. They also place a higher value on having utilities included in their rent, which ranked higher than the square footage of the apartment. Specific amenities came in at 31%.

When renters were asked about their “top of mind” desires, the top three desires were in-unit washers and dryers, which was followed by a gym/spa, and the third was a swimming pool. These findings were published in Multifamily Executive Magazine.

The magazine also surveyed renters on what amenities they would be willing to pay extra for each month, and the responses were (in order of preference): smart technology, in-unit laundry, online rent payments, secure access, a gym or fitness center and smart-home features.

With regard to price, renters still wanted a “luxury” aspect in their apartment. To meet pricing needs of renters, apartment builders are making units smaller. They did this in order to add amenities and give renters the luxury feel that they wanted. As of five years ago the average size of a 1-bedroom apartment was 1,000 square feet. Today, the same units are 8% to 10% smaller.

Living Closer to Downtown

One of the biggest trends in multifamily properties is that tenants are willing to give up square footage in order to live closer to the downtown or the center city areas. This trend is fueled by Millennials who tend to not spend a lot of time in their apartments. Part of this draw is opting for an urban lifestyle that doesn’t require long commutes. It’s happening not only in large, established cities but in smaller communities as well.

The truth is that renting is the only way that many people can afford living in the city’s central core. Housing prices have skyrocketed, particularly in cities like San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago. It appears that high-density multifamily housing offers people an opportunity to live in these desirable areas at prices that are more affordable. It’s happening in all segments of the market, including high-, mid- and low-rise buildings.

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