ApartmentsBuild-to-RentSingle-Family Rental

Rental Demand: Think Young And Old

November 24, 2014

Apartment developers and operators should not ignore the quickly growing demographic of aging Americans. In the near future, when designing new apartment complexes, developers will most likely have to make a choice of which demographic to target: young or old. Your standard apartment renter has historically been young (25–34 years old is the biggest cohort) and either single or newly married, maybe with a young family. However, with the continued, projected growth of the 65+ population, there will be more demand for active adult rental communities. How do their tastes and desires differ from your standard renter?

Let’s first look at what appeals to Millennials, the 95 million Americans born 1982–2003 who make up a large portion of renters:

  • Doing everything online
 
  • High-speed Internet access everywhere
 
  • Pet-friendly communities (dog park, dog trash bins)
 
  • Walkability or bike-ability to restaurants, bars, and grocery stores
 
  • Living green (electric car chargers, rain water collectors, solar power, recycling)
 
  • Proximity to work and entertainment • Communal onsite social areas (coffee bars, video games, large screen TVs)
 
  • Amenable to living alone in smaller units if close to work and play
 

Next, what is the 65+ population looking for in an active adult rental community?

  • Safe living environment
 
  • Proximity to healthcare
 
  • Social programming (with an activities director) and making friends
 
  • Recreational amenities (parks, trails, green spaces, gathering areas, pools, and fitness)
 
  • Low maintenance (housekeeping and dining options onsite)
 
  • Moderate cost housing
 
  • Proximity to retail, banks, parks, restaurants
 

Many of the design and amenity elements do not necessarily overlap, so as apartment developers design for the future, they will have to choose to design for either one group or the other.

 

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