The multi-family market has evolved dramatically over the years. Consumers are looking for a home that meets the demands of their lifestyles; as demographics shift, so will residential trends. Here are a few future trends we can expect to see now and in the coming years for apartment communities.
In Austin, the average unit size has decreased about 11% in the last ten years and about 18% in highly populated cities like Seattle and San Francisco. The term “micro unit” refers to a unit that totals about 300-500 sq. ft. These micro units are growing in popularity among renters, especially in urban areas for a few reasons. Although the renter may be sacrificing space, the trade off is a more energy efficient home, affordability in highly sought after neighborhoods, and the selection of higher quality finishes that would not be an option in larger apartments.
Since unit size is shrinking, common areas are increasingly important. Many apartments offer shared public spaces like lounges, theater rooms, gourmet kitchens, and technology centers. Renters want both luxury and convenience, so developers are creating communities which include all the necessities; grocery stores, shopping, and dining all within walking distance. There is a large focus on resort-like amenities to draw people in; laundry service, in-house aerobic and yoga classes, spas, and 24 hour concierge are a couple of amenities we see now and will continue to see in the future.
Technology-driven features are becoming more and more prevalent, and the complexes that have implemented these features are ahead of the curve. Phone apps are being utilized to control thermostats and are even replacing the front door key. Other technological advances in the housing industry are implementing eclectic car charging stations and the addition of electronic package storage where there is not a 24 hour concierge service.