Economists at the recent Strategic Real Estate Conference recently said that the industry has seen some significant changes.
Experts indicated there has been a trend of dedicating more space per person in homes and less in offices, according to National Real Estate Investor. Panel moderator Gunnar Branson noted that residential space now averages over 900 square feet for each individual, more than triple the average from the 1970s. Offices, on the other hand, include an average of 200 square feet per person, compared to more than 500 in the past. The result is that any given household typically expects more space.
Panelists also noted other changes, however. The advancement of computers and other technology encourages people to work and live in smaller spaces. The multifamily market is seeing an increased number of units that have only 300 square feet or less of space. Smaller apartments may have some advantages for investors, developers and rental property management companies.
These units are favored largely by echo boomers, a demographic of 80 million who were born between 1982 and 1995. These Americans commonly prefer to live in cities and to avoid driving. That lifestyle makes location more important than it might be for other residents.