Millennials are out and Generation Z (those who were born between 1995 and 2015) is in. Massive and influential, this cohort has the buying power. Being the fastest growing group, according to Stats Canada, Gen Z makes up close to 20% of Canada’s total population and they are just starting to enter and disrupt the workforce, but by 2020 they’re predicted to represent the largest group of consumers worldwide. This demographic is pretty young still, with the oldest being 24-25 years old. But, this is the age when people start thinking about buying a home, so it will only be another year or two before Generation Z is a more significant player in the housing market.

Knowing the fact that Gen Z has never lived in a world without the Internet or social media, that will affect how its members search for apartments and what technology they expect to be included in their apartment buildings. The entrance of this cohort to the multi-residential properties is bringing tastes for smaller condos, more practical amenities and influencers with them. The primary goal they have is to get an affordable place and enjoy the city they want to live in as they make their way to the next income class, therefore the development of smaller and pre-furnished condos may contribute even more to the trend of shrinking multifamily residentials.

In terms of amenity offerings, multifamily owners are starting to adjust. Technology is a given as Gen Z thinks that connectivity to the world wide web using any possible platforms and devices is a necessity.  They demand accurate information that is easily available online on a visually appealing, efficient website optimized for mobile viewing.

According to research by student-housing development firm Servitas, luxurious community amenities are one of the top trends in student housing, even if student-housing residents rarely take advantage of these types of communal spaces. When it comes time for Gen Zers to transition from student housing to living on their own, they will look for amenities similar to what they had in college, such as outdoor media walls, infinity-edge pools and yoga rooms. This generation has high expectations when it comes to amenities.

Common areas for community-building events have become more popular and are effective retention tools, according to the Streetsense Director of Trends and Consumer Forecasting Jamie Sabat.

“We’ve found that community is the new amenity,” Sabat said.

Going green is also a given for Gen Z. A study by Sparks & Honey found 76 percent report they are concerned about the impact humans have on our planet. While many communities may already have stepped up their sustainable practices to attract millennial residents, amenities such as efficient appliances, walkability and bike storage will continue to be important.

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Photo credit: HOEM on Jarvis