Apartment boom represents changing dynamics in young professionals' preferences
Friday, August 10, 2012
As the nation continues to recover from an economic recession and a housing collapse, developers and bankers are looking to the future. While the housing bubble seems to have burst, rental prices are sharply on the rise.
A new generation of ever-mobile professionals prefers renting to owning. Increased mobility and tighter budgets have kept single-family home sales low, but rental rates high. In cities like Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago, 'apartment boom' is becoming the key word of the real estate development industry. Minneapolis and St. Paul, with a combined population of 667,646, is currently on track to build 14,000 apartment units, according to the Star Tribune. This phenomenon isn't specific to Minneapolis/St.Paul. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago is on track to build 8,000 units citywide.
"There's a lot going on," said John Lahey, a principal at Solomon Cordwell Buenz, one of the Chicago's biggest designers of residential towers. "Things definitely are a lot busier than they were."
The new wave of apartment-dwellers doesn't fit into any particular demographic; while some renters are business professionals with a short-term lease or corporate suite, young families and retirees are also downsizing their lives in accordance with national trends.
"Yesterday’s young professionals wanted a house on a two-acre lot in suburbia," says Macon, Georgia, Mayor Robert Reichert in an interview for Mercer University. "Today they’re more interested in living in loft apartments within walking distance of shopping, theatre and other amenities."