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The 2024 National Multifamily Housing Council/Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report shows discerning apartment residents seek a harmonious blend of comfort, convenience, and connectivity in their living spaces. For architects, builders, and property managers, understanding the evolving demands of the modern renter is not just a necessity; it's a strategic imperative to attract and retain residents.

This data provides a comprehensive look at the home features and community amenities that renters can’t live without, how much they are willing to pay for them, and what matters most during their home search. The report features input from 172,703 renters living in 4,220 communities nationwide, with data available for 77 markets.

Here are the amenities that top the list nationwide:

  • Air Conditioning (93%): No longer considered a luxury even in markets with more temperate climates, air conditioning has become an essential feature that apartment residents simply won't compromise on. As renters continue to prioritize this amenity, meeting their expectations becomes paramount in ensuring long-term success and desirability.
  • In-Unit Washers and Dryers (93%): Tied for the most coveted amenity is the in-unit washer/dryer. Gone are the days when renters were satisfied with shared laundry facilities or resolved to lug heavy loads of laundry to off-site laundromats. This game-changing amenity significantly influences renter choices and enhances the overall living experience through unmatched convenience.
  • High-speed Internet Access (90%): In an increasingly connected world, high-speed internet access has emerged as a nonnegotiable requirement for modern apartment dwellers. The importance of high-speed internet extends beyond convenience; it is integral to staying informed, connected, and competitive. Renters rely on the internet for a variety of tasks from remote work and online education to entertainment streaming and telehealth. In fact, 82% of respondents reported streaming video content daily, while 67% connect to telehealth services at least a few times per year.
  • Soundproof Walls (88%): Neighbors living in close proximity comes with the benefits of community and shared resources. However, this closeness also brings with it the potential for noise intrusion. In these shared environments, soundproof walls have become hyper-desirable for noise mitigation and privacy—both of which contribute to a better resident experience.
  • Walk-In Closets (87%): The walk-in closet, once considered a rare luxury, has become a common expectation, providing apartment residents with necessary space for storage, organization, and style.
  • Garbage Disposals and Dishwashers (87%): The kitchen plays a critical role in daily life, and it’s clear from the data that apartment dwellers want all the amenities to make cleanup a snap. Both coming in at 87%, garbage disposals and dishwashers are time-savers that renters do not want to live without.
  • Noise-Reducing Window Panes (83%): It’s clear that renters prize peace and quiet. Similar to their strong preference for soundproof walls to mitigate noise from neighbors, renters also report a strong desire for noise-reducing window panes to mitigate noise from outside their apartments. In urban settings where noise pollution is prevalent, this feature becomes a critical aspect of apartment design.
  • Pre-Installed Window Shades/Blinds (83%): Windows are not just openings to the outside world; they are vital elements in creating a comfortable living space. Pre-installed window shades or blinds enhance privacy, aesthetics, renter comfort, and energy efficiency.
  • Refrigerators With Water/Ice Dispensers (81%): A third kitchen amenity on the top 10 must-have list, built-in water and ice dispensers offer an endless supply of filtered water and ice to help renters stay hydrated and entertain with ease.

Whether you're designing, building, or managing residential properties, this insight is invaluable for staying ahead in the game and providing residents with the homes they truly desire.