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Gen Z Workers & Apartments: A Paradox

March 25, 2022

As the job market tightens from residual effects of the pandemic, the oldest members of Generation Z continue to secure jobs that enable them to move out of their parents’ homes. These young workers benefit from new and improved paychecks that allow them to enter the multi-family housing scene. As more employers need this upcoming generation of workers, more of these workers need multi-family housing.

This generation, also referred to as Gen Z, is the newest generation to near adulthood and refers to individuals born from 1997 to 2012. According to research and advisory firm Gen Z Planet, the generation’s disposable income reached an estimated $360 billion, which is a 152 percent increase from 2018. About 73 percent of that came from employment.

With new jobs and incomes aided by an economy that’s short of workers, Gen Z is primed to begin households of their own. According to CBRE, Gen Z will represent about 25 percent of all renter households, which is already up 15 percent from 2019. Despite higher rents, the Census Bureau reported that national vacancy rates were down 6.5 percent by the end of 2021 compared to the year prior. This is only expected to grow as more of the generation nears adulthood.

The transition of this generation into adulthood makes planning long-term goals for landlords crucial to achievement. To keep occupancies healthy, apartment owners need to think about positioning their brand for members of the rising generation. For Gen Z, this would likely include amenities that may not have been as significant in years past. A RentCafé study found that high-speed internet is more important to this generation when compared to more traditional ones like pools or parking spaces, considering less of this generation drives.

Nearly a third of Gen Z renters are also willing to view an apartment space virtually compared to in-person when deciding to move. Preferences like these can save landlords time and money, while also catering to the needs of their target tenant. To take advantage of the high rents and low vacancies of the current market and beyond, owners need to pay special attention to the patterns of the upcoming generation.

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