If the end of the year numbers from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are any indication of what we can expect in 2014 — managers and property owners in the multifamily housing market have plenty to smile about.
NAHB reported building permit issuance jumped more than 15% in October. There was so not-so-nice news though. While the West and Southern regions experienced healthy increases, 15.4% and 9.4% respectively, the Midwest reported a steep drop of 9.6%.
It looks like 2014 is going to be the year for filet mignon and top ramen. There are some indications that luxury and high-end apartment home communities, along with economy units for students and recent grads, can expect better occupancy rates than mid-priced properties.
On one end there is a high number of recent college graduates saddled with high student debt loans. On the other end, baby boomers with extra cash and empty-nest syndrome are trading the large family home for a smaller dwelling.
Sustainability and Digital Trends
Back in 2011, Multifamily Executive Magazine reported more than 60% of participants in a residential survey conducted by Strata Research said that environmental elements were high on the list of things they considered when choosing a place to rent. That trend is expected to continue into 2014. Evidence shows that more people expect low-energy appliances and windows with lower U-values and better thermal performance.
There is still some disparity between what consumers want and how much they are willing to pay for environmentally friendly features in apartments. The gap is beginning to narrow as residents learn more about how saving money and saving the planet can work together.
Residents in 2014 will be looking for electric car fueling centers, built-in iPad docking stations and community access to wi-fi and Cat-5.
Visuals and Aesthetics
Glass Magazine reports that commercial customers are demanding windows that not only provide superior thermal performance, but also have less visual obstruction and uninterrupted sight-lines. Look for more vinyl and less metal based windows in newer apartment homes and retrofit buildings. Fenestration trends include addressing the demand for aesthetics, sustainability and performance in one package.
Residents want more green space — with connectivity. Property owners will hear more requests for community gardens, rooftop retreats and common areas to socialize with other residents and online friends.
This new year will bring many exciting opportunities for property managers to connect better with current residents and make changes to lure new renters to their property with eco-friendly features and digital everything. Bottom line. Expect 2014 to be an exciting year with last years emerging trends gaining more traction and stability, and new technology opening doors to create better relationships between real estate professionals and people searching for a new place to call home.
|Appfolio | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |
AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money. Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.