In a world where recent grads are struggling to stay financially afloat, millennials are putting off marriage and kids, families are living together longer and seniors are eschewing retirement homes, housing needs are changing.

The upshot is that the market is responding. Design solutions rooted in a deep understanding of shifting market demographics, tenant needs and flexibility are the keys to success.


The extent to which the modern family has become both more complex and more flexible is enough to astonish even researchers who study these cultural dynamics for a living. Understanding shifting demographics, evolving lifestyle preferences and generational needs is vital to residential design that can withstand the test of time.


Fitness centers are still worthwhile perks, but residents are increasingly concerned with things like lighting, air purification and water filtration. Smart home technology helps residents maintain control over these elements and monitor their own personal wellness metrics without even thinking about it. Designers are including tech-ready infrastructure and green materials in all new projects.


Co-working has changed how people think of their 9 to 5. Catering to freelancers, frequent travelers and teleworkers, these spaces offer the ambiance of a hip start-up with the convenience and affordability made possible by sharing office resources like WiFi, meeting space and a communal kitchen. The draw has proven powerful; the number of shared workspaces has roughly doubled each year since 2006.

When the popularity of co-working gave rise to co-living, critics dismissed the tiny units with access to shared common space and amenities as “adult dorm rooms,” but they’re much more nuanced than that. Flexible leases, fully furnished units, pre-arranged utilities and shared amenities are often nicer than an individual tenant could afford. Co-living also presents an ideal solution for those in transition or people looking for a deeper sense of community (which, studies show, is a major contributing factor to tenant retention).


We can’t talk about the latest residential trends without mentioning technology. But don’t mistake that for a discussion of mere gadgets; what’s cool today will be obsolete tomorrow. This is especially true in the luxury market, which often leads the entire industry in of-the-minute tech. Whether it’s intuitive, automatic lighting or integrated, connected security systems, what once was an expensive luxury can now be bought off the shelf. Developers can no longer bill standard tech as a differentiator for luxury apartments, so architects add enough flexibility to the design to make sure tenants can stay as cutting-edge as they want.

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