Multifamily Industry Needs To Catch Up To Coming Demands

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The Editors's picture
Multifamily Industry Needs To Catch Up To Coming Demands

New research on the multifamily industry shows the need for developers, investors, property managers and architects to adapt to the shifting demographics and psychographics of the renter population in order to effectively meet the demand for 4.6 million new apartment units by 2030, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).


The apartment of tomorrow and the coming distruption

“The multifamily industry needs to catch up with the revolutions that are already well underway in everything from transportation and retail to demographics and psychographics,” Rick Haughey, NMHC’s Vice President for Industry Technology Initiatives, said in the release.

 “With a population that is aging and growing more diverse, which is impacting household composition, now is the time for our industry to adapt and build to meet the needs of the future.”

Findings from the 2018 Consumer Housing Insights Survey illuminate the growing need for flexible living spaces, personalization, healthy living features and amenities, convenience and connectivity in apartment homes.

When it comes to personalization and flexibility, respondents noted adaptation is key. Eighty-three percent of respondents believe it is important to have a space that evolves with different stages of your life while seventy-eight percent believe it is important to have a space that can transform to meet different needs.

For the multifamily industry disruption is coming

As part of the supporting data for the NMHC report “Disruption - How Demographics, Psychographics and Technology are Bringing Multifamily to the Brink of a Design Revolution” NMHC commissioned market research conducted by Beck Research. The National Survey questioned 1,000 adults with emphasis on renters and millennials.

Key findings about the multifamily industry include:

  •  Americans have difficulty describing the apartment of the future and describing a space beyond the status quo. Instead Americans advocate for improvements to current services and amenities.
  •  Technology, in the form of strong cell service or fast internet access, is a requirement for modern apartments or any housing arrangement.
  • Americans want more amenities at their fingertips. They are interested in features in apartments, such as better appliances and washer/dryers, as well as community features, such as outdoor spaces and gyms.
  • The core benefits of rental apartments remain convenience, flexibility and the ability to move. Rental apartments are “a space that evolves with different stages of your life” (83% say important).
  • Millennials are more likely than older Americans to see rental apartments as “innovative,” see a broader community role for apartments, and agree that “my community is stronger when there is a mix of rental apartments and single-family homes.”
  • Millennials are more social and more attached to the urban centers. They are more likely to listen to live music, but also value face-to-face communication.
  • Suburban Americans “underperform,” meaning Suburban Americans favor the Democrats by a wide 16-point margin, but act similar to Fringe areas, which favor Republicans by 12-points. Both are very skeptical of apartments.

 Consumer Housing Insights Survey highlighted in the disruption report include:

  •  ·Nine out of 10 survey respondents (92 percent) said convenience was important to them
  • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) agreed that their lives were so hectic that they look for ways to make things easier; o “My life is so hectic that I look for ways to make it easier for me”
  • Ninety-four percent of respondents said that being able to personalize their space was important
  • Eighty-three percent stressed the importance of having space that evolves with different stages of their lives
  • More than three-quarters (78 percent) said they valued having a convertible space that could transform to meet different needs
  • 40 percent of respondents said they plan to telecommute more in the future
  • 60 percent said their home was a reflection of their identity.

Apartment of tomorrow

multifamily industry and apartment of tomorrow

To illustrate the seismic shifts poised to disrupt the multifamily industry and help developers, property managers, investors and architects envision the apartment of tomorrow, NMHC partnered with KTGY Architecture + Planning to develop eight videos that showcase futuristic living spaces to create, consume, amuse and refresh.

The eight designs, which include both private living areas and shared amenity spaces, offer innovative and imaginative takes on what apartment living will look like for the next generation. Features such as moveable walls, interactive fitness and wellness amenities, and 3D printers are just some of the highlights of these futuristic spaces. Videos and renderings, as well as the full Disruption report, can be viewed at


2018 Consumer Housing Insights Survey

NMHC Releases Data and Insights on ‘The Apartment of Tomorrow’

National Multifamily Housing Council


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