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The year 2022 follows on the heels of one of the most explosive and increasingly competitive years in Canada’s rental housing industry. Combined with the continued growth in real estate prices across major markets we have also seen an increase in the average income of new renters, many of which would have otherwise purchased a home but have since been relegated to the rental market.
As many see a long-term future as renters, many are not willing to compromise on their quality of life and are making more demands on features and finishes.. This has resulted in an ever growing call by renters for newer and higher quality amenities than ever before. This issue is one that we are tracking quite closely in a bid to better understand what renters are looking for, and how to better attract qualified prospects to rental listings.
Renters are not a single homogeneous group that can be easily defined by one income bracket, family status, or age. Renters fill the full spectrum of household types, and as such require unique approaches when it comes to targeting individual groups. In a bid to demystify what renters want out of their rental accommodations we are recording amenity filters applied by various renters.
The data contained below was sourced from rentals.ca by recording various amenity filters applied by users when performing apartment searches. This data, although not representative of the entire rental market in Canada, represents a substantial sample size of approximately 180,000 online users who had applied some level of amenity filters to their rental searches over a period of 3 months. Not all users were included in the final tallies which divided search results based on age group however the results are representative of broader market conditions and renter demand.
We should also note that preferred amenities discussed below are subject to change with time and are only indicative of user preferences at the time of writing this report.
We have identified 4 broad household categories divided into unique age brackets. These demographic groups are considered to be standard when identifying renter profiles, or personas for new construction properties.
From our review we've identified that each age group has a unique theme regarding their preferred amenities. Of course this data was not normalized for household income, or location so there will certainly be a level of obfuscation with the presence of more conventional filters including the more price conscious ones such as utilities, and rental rates.
Amenities are ranked based on their relative importance to each age group.
The youngest group of renters includes students, recent graduates, singles, couples, and roommates. These individuals seem to be the most concerned with lifestyle, interaction, and shared amenities. They tend to rank lower amongst convenience oriented amenities and prefer those which are likely to improve or benefit their lifestyle. They are also becoming increasingly interested in sharing space and prefer 2-bedroom units, over smaller 1-Bedroom, or even Studio units.
Having been in the professional world for 4 or more years these households understand what older stock apartments look and feel like. With growing incomes, and a taste for the finer things in life many are beginning to demand more from their housing accommodations and want their next move to be associated with an increased standard of living. When looking for new housing options they demand quality, and more importantly convenience. Mostly driven by unit features as opposed to common area amenities, they want their units to improve their quality of life by offering them features that would otherwise only be available in new construction properties.
The most financially diverse group of households, narrowing down one list of specific unit requirements is more challenging as the socioeconomic status of a household will dictate where their focuses lay. While lower to middle income families are more likely to be highly price conscious and focused on necessities; the opposite end of the income spectrum for this age group represents the most affluent and discerning renters found in Canada. Typically found in major markets and wealthy suburbs these households demand high end features, finishes, and amenities. They expect finishes comparable to those found in the luxury condos or custom homes they've likely just vacated.
The lower end of the income spectrum is reflective of a price conscious renter with a mixed focus on price, features, and comfort. They need to ensure that their apartments offer them all the functionality they might need, at a price they can afford.
Last but not least, this group consists of the broadest age range including some empty nesters, older downsizers, and retirees. In broad strokes those who fall into the more aged categories tend to be the most price conscious renters. Whether living on a fixed budget, on a pension, or simply saving for retirement. These households rank the highest in their use of the price filter when completing housing searches. Seeking comfort, stability, and security they aren't as concerned with high end finishes, or amenities as younger renters typically are, instead they simply want to know whether a property will fulfill their needs within an adequate budget.
Regardless of location or product type, renters are never a single homogenous group with identical motivations and requirements. Whether it be age, household size, or status, each factor is likely to create a unique requirement that a renter is going to need filled when looking for new housing. This means that when it comes time to list your available units online, it is important to consider not just what your units have to offer, but also if the value proposition fits with the needs and wants of your target market.
Leasing apartments is never a one size fits all solution and requires that a leasing pitch be tailored to individual renter types. The amenities listed above can help to better inform those in the Canadian rental industry by helping them better position themselves for success when posting available listings online. We hope that this helps to bring colour to the rental market and potentially demystify what amenities renters actually want, and not simply those that bring the most attention.
Rentsync tracks a variety of metrics related to the purpose-built rental industry and is looking to leverage them in order to better inform those in the industry. If you want to better understand the behaviours of renters in a specific market please reach out to us, and we would be happy to provide you with a comprehensive report.
July, 06 2022
June, 27 2022
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