An Outlook on the 2022 Multi-Family Housing Market


DURATION 2 min read

Texas continues to experience a strong need for multi-family housing, but as the events of the past few years have people spending more time at home, multi-family design trends may be shifting moving forward.

We had Mac McElwrath, co-founder of Wayfinder Real Estate, on Texas By Design to discuss how the multi-family market has evolved over the past year, and some of the changes we might see moving forward.

Here are some of the takeaways from our conversation:


Increased Unit Size and Changes in Space Use

More people are living and working at home, and renters are seeking large unit sizes to accommodate those needs. If design standards shift to larger unit sizes, as industry experts believe they might, multi-family units will start looking a lot different.

“We will need to expand unit space to allow for folks that are going to live and work in the unit and not just live, work, and play in the entire community,” Mac said.

With telecommuting and virtual learning becoming the norm, renters are prioritizing home office space. Rather than oversized living rooms, Mac expects to see new units with built-in workspaces and study nooks to accommodate these at-home activities.


Smaller Common Areas

The sense of community offered by multi-family developments is a major attraction for many residents. Amenities like cafes and pool houses were once popular gathering places, but many communities temporarily closed or limited the use of such amenities over the last few years – causing developers to re-evaluate the future practicality of traditional multi-family amenities.

“Common areas are going to see a complete 180 in terms of design,” Mac said.

Moving forward, you can expect to see flexible design options that allow for business centers and other indoor amenities to be separated and portioned off when necessary. Mac and his team at Wayfinder Real Estate are also focusing on steering residents to courtyards and other outdoor areas to help maintain the sense of community offered by multi-family communities.


Why This Matters for Developers

The changes caused by the events of the past few years have made an obvious impact on multi-family residents. Moving forward, residents will be looking for units that provide flexible space and allow them to live and work from home. These design changes consider a tenant’s health, safety, and comfort while helping maintain the desirability of apartment living.

From regulations to design, adapting to change is part of our industry. We get expert insight on our podcast from some of the industry’s brightest minds on how to navigate these changes and how they’ll impact the work we do. Check out episode 10 of Texas By Design for a deeper look at how multi-family designs might change going into 2022. You can watch the episode on YouTube or listen on all major podcast platforms.

Be sure to check out some of our other episodes on topics like master-planned community design, the future of commercial real estate, and the rising housing demand.




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