Homebuyer Buzz: Most Popular Multifamily Amenities Include the Outdoors

September 2, 2021

Homebuyer Buzz_ Most Popular Multifamily Amenities Include the Outdoors

Homebuyer Buzz is our monthly round-up of news stories related to the latest in homebuying trends — from the evolving wants of homebuyers to design news and more.   

This month we’re looking at the top multifamily amenities (it’s outdoor space!), what the typical U.S. renter looks like and the latest migration trends. Will everyone end up in Miami? Check out our latest round-up to see.  

Steel houses: the alternative to lumber? 

Throwback: steel houses were explored as an alternative in 1992. Though steel has yet to overtake lumber, an article in National Home Center News (the forerunner of HBS Dealer), explored if the material would become the affordable alternative to wood. [HBS Dealer] 

The top multifamily amenities 

New research suggests fire pits and lounge areas are the top amenities. Research from Multifamily Design+Construction found that fire pits, lounge areas, covered parking and rooftop decks and terraces were among the top ten most popular multifamily amenities. Others included outdoor pools, walking paths and outdoor kitchens. [Building Design+Construction] 

Bell Partners agrees: outdoor space is in. The COO of Bell Partners, Cindy Clare, also noted that the most popular multifamily amenities include outdoor space. She added that fitness rooms, pet parks, pet spas, conference rooms and flexible communal spaces for working also made their top amenities list. One of the biggest amenities in attracting new residents, she said, will be more space in their apartments. [MHN] 

The life of a U.S. renter 

The typical U.S. renter who moved in the last year is 33 years old and unmarried. Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report examined the typical U.S. renter who moved in the last year, finding that they are 33, never married, have some college education and are most likely to live in the South. Most live in an apartment building with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and moved from a previous rental. Seven-in-10 renters say they’re planning to move to another rental within the next three years. [Zillow] 

It’s not just homes: bidding wars are becoming more common for renters. Though typically discussed in terms of homebuyers, bidding wars for rental spaces are becoming more common as demand for apartments and single-family rentals surges. Landlords are reporting seeing more than a dozen applications for good properties with offers above the asking price. [CNBC]

Home migration trends 

Survey finds that COVID migration is still happeningAccording to a survey by the agency Knight Frank, of respondents who had not moved since the start of the pandemic, 20% were planning to do so in the next year, with 38% headed to cities, 33% to the suburbs and 15% to more rural areas. In America, 25% of respondents had moved since last spring, with 22% noting that outdoor space was the main factor in their decision. Meanwhile, 84% of respondents said the energy efficiency of a home was important. [Mansion Global] 

Popular: Miami is a migration hotspot. According to Redfin, Miami has seen the migration of homebuyers triple since last year. While the city has consistently been in Redfin’s top 10 list for quarterly migration, this is the first time it took the number one spot. In July, Miami had a net inflow of 7,610 Redfin.com users compared to 2,216 net inflow for the same period in 2020. Tampa and Cape Coral also made the top 10. [Redfin] 

More people are moving into high-risk climate areasRedfin also found that the U.S. counties with the largest share of homes facing adverse climate conditions like high heat, drought, fire and flood experienced population growth from 2016 to 2020. Meanwhile, the counties with the smallest share of homes facing climate conditions experienced population decline. It could be because counties with the highest risk are less expensive on average. [Redfin] 

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Access to affordable housing 

Biden administration announces steps to increase affordable housingThe White House announced this week that they would be taking steps to add “nearly 100,000 additional affordable homes for homeowners and renters over the next three years.” The steps include boosting the supplies of affordable rental units, manufactured housing and 2- to 4- unit properties and working with state and local governments to boost the housing supply. [NAHB Now] 

Parent-friendly suburbs 

Are these suburbs going to see an influx of parentsThe data team at Realtor.com says the best suburbs for parents in 2021 include Denville, New Jersey, El Monte, California, Libertyville, Illinois, and Coppell and Tomball, Texas. The list takes into account the percentage of children living in each city, school rankings and family-friendly businesses. [Realtor.com] 

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