The Millennial Rental Market
NOVEMBER 27, 2018 | CHICAGO, IL—
It is no secret that student housing has taken a turn for the better in the past five years. With new projects popping up at campuses all over the country, there is no shortage of student residences filled with sleek interiors and amenities galore. As a result, college students are graduating and heading into the real world with greater expectations for the roof over their head. Coming from resort-style living makes it difficult to pack multiple roommates into a dysfunctional layout, especially when there is no promise of rooftop pools, custom cardio centers, or premium game rooms.
Developers and architects are ahead of the game once again, designing and building structures that make the transition from college to real world a whole lot easier. Large post-graduate hubs like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles are seeing an uptick in new rental apartment buildings complete with modern designs that appeal specifically to millennials (and likely Gen Z as they make their way out of college). This generation is drawn to rentals because they want flexibility and often don’t want to tie themselves down to one geographic location.
When it comes to constructing apartments for the millennial generation, we’re looking at three major trends: affordable units with an efficient layout, sustainability, and improving technology throughout the home. As they steer away from the suburban life that baby boomers were quick to adopt, millennials are prioritizing saving money over purchasing large properties. But to make this work, they are looking for efficiently designed units with building amenities that encourage group socialization and make it easier to manage a smaller apartment.
The desire for sustainability and efficiency has ultimately led to an increased expectation for energy-efficient units, increasing the presence of LEED certification and health-focused indoor environments. Technologies like smart thermostats, automatic lighting, and motion detectors make it easy for millennials to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives without having to alter daily habits.
Overall, millennials make up a large majority of the new apartment market and it is extremely important that we keep them in mind as we move forward with architecture and design.