The health crisis has fundamentally changed how people live, work, rest, and play. Spurred on by the blurring of our professional and personal lives, there is a new set of rules at play in urban planning and multifamily housing.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

The Wellness Focus

Consumers are becoming more aware of their individual contributions to environmental issues, such as climate change and the need to reduce waste. As a result, a majority is making a conscious effort toward more environmentally responsible choices that reduce our carbon footprint.

According to research from “Health Affairs,” 30% of people from all income levels say they’re willing to pay more for real estate that prioritizes wellness. It seems the broader societal trend of working with brands that align with personal values has now arrived in real estate.

Shrinking Households

The decision to live alone is also on the rise. Smaller households mean that square footage within individual units is becoming less important. Instead, the focus has shifted to finding the smartest and most efficient use of both indoor and outdoor space.

Communal Amenities

To meet these changing needs, real estate developers must be able to showcase a sense of community, featuring shared indoor and outdoor spaces that bring together people from different generations. This includes flexible, multi-purpose areas that work hard for everyone—whether they are relaxing, entertaining, exercising, working, studying, playing, or entertaining. It also means clever interior solutions, such as optimizing square footage by “zoning” for different modes and moods.

Applying the Research

Designing interior spaces with a variety of finishes helps to create these different activity “zones” in common areas. In addition to being practical, a mixture of colors, patterns, and surfaces also helps to create a more inviting, comfortable environment that instantly feels like home. To support health and wellness, look for materials that are made with recycled content and contribute to better indoor air quality.

To retain and attract new tenants, it’s becoming increasingly important for residential developers to create inclusive, affordable and environmentally conscious solutions. Innovative multifamily developments that combine the convenience of living and working locally—and provide a greater sense of community—are seeing a huge spike in demand.

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