Space in home and community design is more important than ever with the pandemic and with so many people working from home, John Burns Consulting took a look at the future of apartments and tried to determine what it will take, going forward, to get people to rent.
“People need space for health reasons, and people need space and privacy to work from home. Working from home will be a significant shift that stays with us for years,” wrote Ken Perlman and Lesley Deutch in the John Burns Consulting newsletter. “To succeed during lease-up, the more than 400,000 apartment units currently in some stage of construction also need to capitalize on tenants’ need for space.”
They point out some opportunities for new apartment construction that were already trending before the pandemic.
Floor plans that provide both natural light and privacy
Apartments that can provide roommates or couples several places to work – and provide privacy plus separation – will get people to rent and may be the future of apartments.
“Rooms that can flex to support different functions, such as office during the day and fitness in the evening, will be part of the new apartment landscape,” Perlman and Deutch wrote.
“While planning for roommates is important, we also anticipate some renters will be less amenable to sharing their homes. For them, apartment floor plans will need to balance the lifestyle elements they want with smaller sizes that can keep rents attainable. That will mean apartments that are large enough to support both living and working with very efficient square footage and design elements that promote physical and emotional separation.”
What future of apartments looks like
The smaller the apartment, the more important light, balconies and fresh-air spaces become.
“We advise more ‘under roof’ spaces without walls that provide shade and fresh air. Apartment communities will need more places for outdoor yoga and parks for free play or alfresco dining. Today’s consumers love their pets more than ever, and community amenities that include dog parks or pet-washing stations will resonate more than ever before.
“Apartment communities that can adjust to shifting consumer demands will have a competitive advantage in what we believe could be a very competitive leasing environment,” Perlman and Deutch write.