Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, a shift toward the suburbs away from multi-family urban homes was already occurring. Since the virus has taken center stage this year, that shift has rapidly accelerated. In the month of May, annual apartment contracts in Manhattan alone dropped 80% and more than half of the country’s largest 100 metropolitan areas report similar statistics. In this blog, we discuss the current state and the future of multi-family homes.

Multi-Family Homes and COVID-19

For many years, there was a seemingly endless demand for urban living spaces. Developers across the country were constructing multi-family homes because the demand was always there. 2020 has been a different story, however. In truth, the events of this year revealed to many people that privacy, space and other amenities are very desirable features in a home. People are starting to ask themselves questions like, “Do I really still want to live in a building with an elevator?” If you are wondering about their response to that question, the ongoing migration from multi-family homes to private suburban homes should tell you all that you need to know. The extra time at home this year paired with a massive shift to remote working has perfectly fueled this widespread change in thinking.

Technology: The Saving Grace for Urban Living?

It would appear that the desire for spacious, private living will continue to remain popular in the short-term future. Looking further into the future, however, we can expect the demand for multi-family homes to rise again at some point. We expect technology to play a large role in this recovery. Solutions like self-leasing will allow shoppers to purchase a lease the same way they would book a hotel: online. Features like smart locks and touchless entry will also contribute toward building a sense of safety in the world of multi-family real estate. As this technology starts to appear throughout our cities, the outlook on urban living may start to shift once again.

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