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Top 10 outdoor amenities at multifamily housing developments for 2021

Multifamily Housing

Top 10 outdoor amenities at multifamily housing developments for 2021

Fire pits, lounge areas, and covered parking are the most common outdoor amenities at multifamily housing developments, according to new research from Multifamily Design+Construction.


By David Barista, Editorial Director | September 1, 2021
Top 10 outdoor amenities at multifamily housing developments for 2021

Photo: Dim Hou, Pixabay

For multifamily developers, and their building teams, getting the amenities mix right could make or break the success of their multifamily housing developments.

Ongoing research by BD+C's sister brand, Multifamily Design+Construction (MFDC), aims to help developers, owners, architects, and other project team members identify proven and trending multifamily amenities. 

The latest iteration of MFDC's research, the 2021 Multifamily Amenities Study, ranks the top 131 amenities that developers are providing in today's apartment and condominium communities. A total of 342 industry professionals completed the online, 11-question survey over a four-week period in February/March 2021. 

The makeup of respondents includes architects/interior designers (34.9 percent), developers/owners/property managers (30.5 percent), construction professionals (21.4 percent), consultants (5.0 percent), engineers (3.2 percent), and others allied to the multifamily housing field (5.1 percent). (Thanks to Huber Engineered Woods for supporting the 2021 Multifamily Amenities Study.)

Top 10 outdoor amenities at multifamily housing developments

Among the findings from the 2021 Multifamily Amenities Study is a ranking of the top 10 outdoor amenities. 

Fire pits (66.1 percent), lounge areas (64.0 percent), and covered parking (55.3 percent) were cited most often by survey respondents, followed by rooftop deck/terrace (54.4 percent), outdoor pool (53.2 percent), and walking paths (49.4 percent). Outdoor kitchens (43.6%) and community gardens (31.6%) are also popular items. 

Looking at historical data from the 2019 and 2017 Multifamily Amenities surveys, almost all outdoor amenities tracked closely with the 2021 report. Although “storage (outside the unit)” seems to have dropped off significantly, at 44.2% this year, vs. 57.5% in 2019 and 62.4% in 2017.

Nearly one-fourth of respondents (24.6 percent) had installed a Jacuzzi, up slightly from 2019 (20.6 percent). 

Outdoor movie screens (15.8 percent, vs. 14.4 percent in 2019) and catering pantries (12.9 percent, up a touch from 11.7 percent in 2019) also made the list.

The 2021 Multifamily Amenities Study ranks amenities and features across nine other building areas:
• Top ‘smart connectivity’ systems
• Top 10 indoor amenities
• Top 10 recreation amenities
• Top 10 convenience services
• Top 10 quality of life amenities
• Top 10 business and technology services
• Top 10 security services
• Top children's services
• Top services for pets
• BONUS: COVID-19 impact on amenities
• BONUS: List of ‘first-time amenities’ for developers

Download the complete findings for free (short registration required).

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