The newsLINK Group - Hot Multifamily Housing Trends

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Housing Trends Title: Hot Multifamily Housing Trends Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Multifamily communities draw from three groups: millennials who are just starting out, young professionals who are in the middle of building their careers, and those whose children are no longer living at home. Editorial: Hot Multifamily Housing Trends 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Multifamily communities draw from three groups: millennials who are just starting out, young professionals who are in the middle of building their careers, and those whose children are no longer living at home. All are interested in an urban lifestyle, although the older people are, the more they value having a little extra space. (One Dallas community, Preston Hollow Village, offers units in three sizes: 850 square feet for the millennials, 1150 square feet for young professionals, and 1600 square feet for empty nesters.) What exactly is an urban lifestyle? It shares the following characteristics: High-service, high-amenity living where people choose a close location, great internet service, and like-minded neighbors instead of the space they could get if they lived farther away from the city. Low maintenance homes in walkable neighborhoods with plenty of access to mass transit. The idea is to have a home where the workplace, communal living areas, and private areas for sleeping are all close together. How close do things have to be? Scott Ziegler, who is a principal of Houston’s design firm Ziegler Cooper, calls it a 20-minute bubble. Everything someone needs is no more than 20 minutes away, and you don’t have to get on a freeway to get there. Actually, finding that kind of home in the middle of a city is expensive for buyers; renting can sometimes bring it within reach. Owners of multifamily communities benefit from creating good relationships with surrounding neighborhood businesses, especially restaurants, for their tenants to enjoy. Budget matters to the people who are most likely to rent because their finances are not secure and because units in their price range can be hard to find. Many investors would rather build apartments for those who are wealthy. High-end properties can be truly luxurious with their expensive flooring, as much as $25 to $30 per square foot, and amenities such as infinity pools, but the market is a limited one. Those who build their apartments for the middle-class and manage to give them a luxurious feel as well have a definite advantage when it comes to finding people who can afford what is being offered. How do you make an apartment luxurious when the cost of land, materials, and labor are all so high? One approach is to control operating costs. Energy savings can be secured by having amenities such as the following: A central hot water system powered by the sun An HVAC system with variable refrigerant flow Bike storage Electric car-charging stations Floor-to-ceiling windows LED lighting Monitored water usage On-site Zipcars Rainwater collection Recycled building materials Turbines that are powered by wind and natural gas Green leases are attractive because they are cheaper to operate and can result in the rent being lowered by as much as 30 percent to 50 percent when compared with other rents in the area. Making housing green is important not just because it lowers operating costs, though, but because this is another housing aspect that is particularly important to millennials. They are committed to sustainable living. Another approach is to make the apartment extremely small. In Houston, for example, Ziegler-Cooper offers renters spaces in January 2015 that were 250 or 350 square feet for $910 per month. Spaces in the 565 or 600 square foot range went for $1,200 or $1,400. Some people, especially young singles, don’t spend time in their apartments other than to sleep. They don’t care about it being small as long as the location is good. Boston, New York, and San Francisco, all of which have outrageously priced real estate, have all pursued the option of the micro apartment as a way to make their apartments affordable.