Trends to Watch in Multifamily Housing
Multifamily housing can best be described as a living situation in which multiple families live in isolated units within a single building or series of connected complexes. To those living in the city, multifamily housing can be a way of life. Many Americans haven’t experienced life without having to worry about (and, in many cases, deal with) noise from neighbors. They’re used to the sound of footstep from above or below. Multifamily housing is, without a doubt, an underrated focal point of American home life. Because of this, we here at Neri Architects keep a close eye on trends and developments in multifamily housing. Let’s take a closer look at some trends to watch in 2016.
Turning Towards Technology
Technology is quickly becoming an essential part of the American lifestyle. Everyone has their own preferences as to their technological set-up. This has caused something of an unusual divide. Some landlords take a “challenge accepted” approach, outfitting units with the fastest available internet and smart home technology. On the other hand, many choose the “laissez-faire” approach, knocking a couple bucks off rent and letting their tenants handle their own technological set-ups. Both are valid ways to accommodate the changing times. Still, we’re keeping our ears peeled for new and innovative ways technological amenities are being addressed.
The Urban Migration
We’re at an interesting time now for age demographics. A large percent of the baby boomer generation are now empty nesters. A large portion of the millennial generation are recent college graduates, beginning new careers and enjoying the spoils of their first paychecks. It makes sense, then, that there has been something of a migration to urban environments. For many, the city is where the jobs are. Above that, however, the city provides a major source of multifamily housing. Empty nesters typically don’t want or need the space provided by single-family housing. Millennials are often looking for the affordability of multifamily housing, often seeking studios or living with roommates to take advantage of the benefits urban living provides. The interesting thing to watch here is the extent to which this migration creates a demand for new-housing development. It may very well depend on the ratio of baby boomers (who have the budget for newly developed complexes) to millennials involved in the migration.
Luxe for Less
There is a term used predominantly amongst the millennial generation known as the “30k millionaire”. This refers to people who either forego the necessities to buy luxury items or (more commonly) pretend to have more money than they actually do in social situations. There are degrees to which this is displayed, but the concept of wanting more for less is as old as time. It would appear that this trait has a stronger hold on the millennial population. The trend observed here is that millennials are either moving into expensive properties (typically with a borderline hazardous number of roommates to cover the rent) or finding ways to add luxe and glamour to a reasonably-priced home. This is fantastic for architects as it gives us the opportunity and challenge of designing sleek and trendy housing units on a budget geared towards millennial tenants.
The Amenities Space Race
Millennials are known for their characteristic sense of entitlement, a stereotype anchored in at least some small level of truth. On the flip side of the coin, baby boomers taking part in the urban migration are also prone to a sense of entitlement. The baby boomers are flocking to the cities with their new status as empty nesters. Unfortunately, it means they’re leaving behind the metaphorical “nests” they spent their adult lives building. Many suburbanites are unprepared for the rude awakening that urban living can sometimes provide. This sense of entitlement has lead to an increased demand for amenities to make tenants’ lives easier. In response, more and more landlords have entered in competition amongst themselves to offer the best amenities for their tenants. Free wi-fi, business/conference centers, workout rooms, and more are all becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, many of these amenities are deemed “sub-par” by tenants, as landlords are looking more to cover their bases rather than provide an actual service.
While the effects of these trends can be hard to predict, Neri Architects is committed to keeping a finger on the pulse of multifamily housing. Is multifamily housing effecting you? Contact us today for architecture and design solutions that work best for your business!