This year's Concept Community survey gauged the housing wants and needs of more than 84,000 renters nationwide, our highest total ever.
In this week's installment of a particular finding from the survey, we highlight the issue of closet space—a precious commodity for any renter.
In fact, in-unit storage space is such a desired design feature that nearly half of all renters (49%) are willing to pay at least $75 more per month for larger closets (10 feet by 6 feet) rather than try to cram their belongings into standard-sized closets (4 feet by 6 feet) for a lower rent.
How does this $75 desire for more-expansive closets break down demographically? As you can see in the chart below, Gen X is slightly more willing to pay than are other generations, though millennials are close behind.
The survey shows that the older the renter, the more cost-conscious he or she is. Perhaps this is a reflection of both living on a fixed income and a wish to downsize among older cohorts.
Yet, surprisingly, when we ratchet up the cost of larger closets by $25 a month, to $100, the inclination doesn't change significantly overall. Even at that higher price point, 45% of renters overall are willing to pay more for additional closet space.
Apparently, bigger is better spatially, even if it means a bigger payment each month. In the chart below, we break down this $100 price point by generation, and, once again, Gen X leads the way, with millennials and baby boomers not far behind. Clearly, the Silent Generation (those born before 1946) are least likely to pay for the extra space.
While it may not be surprising that renters want more space, what is somewhat surprising is how willing they are to pay for it—and how meaningful a mere 6 extra feet is to them, especially when it means a higher rent (at a time when rents are historically high). Note that since the two youngest demographic groups represent the bulk of those surveyed (more than 80%)—a reflection of the overall rental landscape—the overall results are skewed toward "yes."
The full results of our groundbreaking survey, The Next-Gen Apartment: What Renters Want, done in conjunction with J Turner Research, will be unveiled at the Multifamily Executive Conference in September.
In the meantime, check out our previous Stats of the Week:
- Bike Storage and Sharing Grow More Popular
- Package Lockers, by the Numbers
- Residents Reject Short-Term Rentals