The Future of Residential Housing: 10 Top Trends & What to Expect
6 Min Read
Written by: Parcel Pending
With more employers embracing remote work, many previous homeowners have changed living arrangements and migrated to the rental housing market to test new cities and experiences.
Now, property owners and property managers alike are pushing to match evolving tenant expectations with new residential development initiatives and property upgrades shaped by the pandemic. Here’s a rundown of what other trends to expect in the future of residential living:
10 Top Trends in the Future of Residential Living
#1 Speedy Wi-Fi
A top property management tip is ensuring fast WiFi for your residents. Whether they live in a luxury flat or in affordable housing, residents today demand that broadband is available from the day they move in. More importantly, however, is that they are willing to pay higher rent for high-speed internet access — about $35 (≈£29) more1.
#2 Dedicated Work from Home Areas
Hybrid work remains the future of work. In a recent Accenture study of 9,000 workers, 83% expressed a preference for hybrid work: a combination of work-from-home and work-in-office and 75% of employees want to continue to work flexibly2,3. Most startlingly, 40% of those surveyed who were working at home said they would look for another job if their employer forced them to return to the office full–time4. Even Chief Executive of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, who has been vocal about getting workers back to the office, said in a letter to shareholders that 50% of the bank’s staff will spend some or all of their time working from home in the future5.
Home builders and designers are installing small spaces like pocket offices, workstations, flexible rooms without closets, and unused corners that can be used as work areas to create better, more flexible living and workspaces in residential housing units.
#3 Co-Working Spaces
Residents are seeking additional areas within their rental properties to work besides their own residential units. Savvy property owners are installing private offices, ergonomic meeting spaces, and co-working spaces. Of course, lobby Wi-Fi, charging centres, extra outlets, desks, and task lighting are crucial to the residential community experience. With social distancing and masking guidelines over, residents are beginning to seek connection and networking events with their neighbours again.
#4 Self-Leasing Tools
Thanks to advancements in technology, self-leasing tools are finally here. Virtual tours of the floor plan and living space are now a necessity. Recent statistics illustrate that 67% of people want more businesses to offer virtual tours6. And customers aged 18 to 34 are 130% more likely to book a place if there is a virtual tour. According to industry studies from the Center for Realtor Development, high-quality photography properties lease and sell 32% faster than those with poor photos or a lack of photos altogether7.
If you are a property owner or property manager seeking further automation, there are several other tools at your disposal. MeetElise, for instance, acts as a leasing agent and responds intelligently to prospective residents via text or email. Self-reported stats show that it reduces the number of days residential rental properties are on the market by 39%. Funnel, which just raised $14 million in venture capital, streamlines the leasing process. And Checkpoint is filling an essential void by identifying and verifying lease prospects. Its solution reduces rental fraud and improves property safety. Utilisation of Checkpoint skyrocketed from 3% in March to 40% during the height of the pandemic8.
#5 Green Innovations
Plants and flowers in the lobby create a connection to nature while also improving the air quality of living spaces. Research also shows that plants can increase the happiness factor for your residents9.
#6 A Life of Luxury
High-end renters are emerging from the capital and other big cities. Hybrid working models have encouraged some renters to move out of big cities to smaller, commuter towns but many still expect the same standard of premier amenities in their residential housing units. Pre-pandemic, a luxury budget for BTR developments in these areas would not have been as common, however, a shift in behaviour and expectations has elevated the demand. In short, luxury living is now a reality in the regional rental market.
#7 Pets as the Ulti-Mutt Amenity
The pandemic demonstrated the importance of furry friends in residential living. Many residents looked to the benefits pets can bring, including companionship and increased mental and physical health.
Love to Rent, a digital marketing platform for BTR found the most common feature of today’s Build to Rent developments is pet–friendly renting. Love to Rent reported 74% of BTR developments on their site welcomed pets, compared to just 7% of private landlords10.
Providing pet-friendly amenities (like a dog park) is not only a great way to attract new residents but is also a great resident retention idea.
#8 Outdoor Spaces
Balconies and outdoor space are a hotly requested amenity for residential living. Whereas CGI Strategies, a California-based real estate investment and development company, previously stated that approximately 70% of their flats included balconies, they are now aiming for at least 90% in new projects11. Sejal Sonani, principal and managing director at HLW, summarises the trend this way: “The past 18 months of being homebound in the small footprints of apartments or condos have brought increased attention to the availability and design of outdoor amenities. The expectation is not just the availability of roofs and terraces but adequate infrastructure and build-out of these spaces to function as outdoor live/work/play environments.”12
#9 Smart Lockers
No residential marketing strategy would be complete without featuring parcel lockers. Whereas an electronic locker solution might have once been considered “nice to have,” residential parcel lockers are now a necessity for remaining competitors in the rental market. With packages bombarding the mail room due to the exponential growth in online shopping, residents now expect to have total mailbox security available to them including having their packages securely stowed and available at their convenience. Most importantly, installing package lockers can lift lease renewals by as much as 40%!
Also of note, a smart parcel locker solution offers both utility and safety. Renters are automatically notified by email, text, or mobile app alert that a delivery has arrived. They are then given a barcode to scan for contact-free access to their delivery.
#10 Smart Tech
Smart building technology and smart real estate are influencing decision-making when it comes to renters. Millennials are willing to pay about 20% more and stay longer in buildings that offer modern lifestyle conveniences14. Residents are looking for cameras and wireless sensors that act as virtual sentries. These residential security measures can help residents feel more safe and secure in their homes.
The future is already here when it comes to residential living in the UK. Want to stay ahead of the curve? Find out how a smart locker system and secure indoor and outdoor mailboxes can add to your amenities portfolio and help your residential community stay competitive by contacting a Parcel Pending by Quadient representative today.
- Friedman, Robyn. “How to Attract Remote Workers to Your Apartment Community”. Multi-Housing News, January 28, 2021. https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/how-to-attract-remote-workers-to-your-apartment-community/
- Cutter, Chip. “If You Thought Working From Home Was Messy, Here Comes Hybrid Work”. The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/articles/if-you-thought-working-from-home-was-messy-here-comes-hybrid-work-11621935000
- Fleming, Sean. World Economic Forum. Working flexibly is now the new normal for employees: Poll. (2020, July 8). https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/working-flexibly-new-normal-poll/
- Cutter, Chip. “The Boss Wants You Back in the Office. Like, Now”. The Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/articles/return-to-work-the-boss-wants-you-back-in-the-office-11627079616
- Ryan, Carol. “Home Workers Are Making Some Offices Redundant”. The Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2022. https://www.wsj.com/articles/home-workers-are-making-some-offices-redundant-11649690607
- “13 Mind-Blowing Virtual Tour Statistics [Updated for 2021]”. Digital in the Round, July 11, 2021. https://digitalintheround.com/virtual-tour-statistics/
- “Shocking Stats About the Importance of Photography in Real Estate”. RISMedia, December 12, 2018. https://rismedia.com/2018/12/12/shocking-stats-importance-photography-real-estate/
- Donati, Angelica Krystle. “How Is The Multifamily Market Dealing With COVID-19 And What Tech Is It Turning To For Solutions?”. Forbes, October 25, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelicakrystledonati/2020/10/25/how-is-how-the-multifamily-market-dealing-with-covid-19-and-what-tech-is-it-turning-to-for-solutions/?sh=74a91b0e53e9
- “Nature & Our Mood: Why Spending Time Outdoors Makes Us Happier”. Happify, n.d. https://www.happify.com/hd/nature-makes-us-happier-infographic/
- “Pet-Friendly Renting”. Love to Rent, October 25, 2022. https://www.lovetorent.co.uk/blogs-news/2022/october/pet-friendly-renting/
- Berthene, April. “Coronavirus pandemic adds $219 billion to US ecommerce sales in 2020-2021”. Digital Commerce 360, March 15, 2022. https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/coronavirus-impact-online-retail/
- “Proptech Investments to Improve Your Multifamily Portfolio”. Brivo, n.d. https://resources.brivo.com/multifamily/brivo-proptech-investments