While we have yet to see the full impact of the pandemic on the multifamily space, the ripples are already spreading, impacting everything from rental prices to construction and development plans. What’s more, multifamily units are becoming more popular than ever, with 2020 alone seeing a 50% increase in multifamily units. But upholding the status-quo doesn’t fly with today’s renters. Their wants and needs are continuously (and quickly) evolving – challenging builders to find ways to rethink the multifamily experience. Today we’ll explore some of the most prominent multifamily builder trends that will likely shape the future of the industry in 2022 and well beyond.
Top multifamily builder trends for 2022
Bigger, smarter spaces
Whether they’re working from home or quarantining in place, people are spending more time in their homes than ever. And what they expect from their living spaces is changing.
Built-in home offices
One of the biggest concerns of builders today is incorporating the rise of work-from-home into their plans. Things like in-home work nooks and exterior balconies are becoming more popular additions to spaces, along with communal co-working spaces.
Larger square footage
Along with more space for remote work, renters want more space overall. Following a several trend of shrinking apartments, we’re now seeing square footage head in the opposite direction.
Softer materials, calming color palettes.
People want their spaces to be designed with a sense of safety and warmth – and want them to be easy to clean. Light neutral colors along with materials like hardwood, wool, and stone are becoming increasingly popular. Studio director of NELSON Worldwide John Lewis explained to Forbes, “Exterior color trends have shifted towards embracing a softer and lighter color palette, those shades that instinctively make residents feel like a space is light, bright, and overall feels clean.
A focus on health and sustainability
Another big umbrella trend for the industry centers on creating spaces that promote health, wellness, and environmental sustainability.
Fitness centers and outdoor walking areas have become the minimum for residents looking to be part of a healthy environment and community. Developers today are being challenged to push the envelope forward when it comes to creativity, adding things like community gardens and dedicated yoga and meditation spaces to apartment complexes.
Many new projects and developments are choosing to highlight sustainability and health in their design. Better air filtration, low VOC, and decarbonization strategies are all being prioritized by builders, with some striving to achieve LEED certification for their projects as well.
Today, some younger people are looking toward alternative living arrangements to reduce their footprint and build a greater sense of community. Apartments that combine private living quarters with shared kitchens and co-working spaces are becoming more popular.
Like we mentioned before, renters today are enticed by more innovative, more creative amenities that fit their needs. Here are just a few examples of premium amenities multifamily builders are looking to add to future developments.
Rooftops and terraces
Outdoor communal spaces are more popular than ever, and for many people, a well-designed rooftop or terrace is expected (and not just in higher-end developments). What’s more, they can add a lot of value to multifamily assets, especially when designed with biophilic principles in mind. This design concept incorporates elements of nature, aiming to replicate the patterns and colors of the natural world to create feelings of calmness and joy.
Along with more places to hang out with friends and neighbors outside, some residences incorporate outdoor workstations into their co-working plans to give people more opportunities to get outside.
Things like dog parks and even pet-daycare facilities are increasingly featured in multifamily developments in cities, especially in areas where some residents may still have a daily commute.
Lastly, multifamily builder trends in 2022 are also set to feature smarter technology for both renters and property management teams alike.
EV charging stations
Electric vehicle adoption is up and will likely continue to rise as vehicles become less costly. For those living in apartments, having easy access to charging stations is a must.
Designated ridesharing areas
While traditional ridesharing has declined throughout the pandemic, many still use these services for things like food delivery. Having a dedicated parking area for pick up and drop-offs can be wildly helpful for renters who use these apps often.
While builders cannot weave into their designs, many property management groups adopt chatbots to streamline prospective renters’ application and leasing processes. And once a renter is settled in, they can use these online solutions to do things like request maintenance and access property information 24/7, 365.
Want more multifamily insights? Learn about more multifamily builder trends and where the industry’s future is headed on the BetterBot blog.