ORANGE COUNTY, CA—We saw it during the recession out of sheer necessity, but industry experts say now we’re seeing it for a different reason: apartment dwellers doubling and tripling up within the same unit in Orange County. Bill Wilhelm, president of R.D. Olson Construction, tells that during the downturn, the poor economy and suffering housing sector were to blame, but today it’s because rental rates are rising—particularly in the apartment communities with state-of-the-art common amenities—and tenants are willing to sacrifice some space and privacy in order to live affordably in these communities.

Breaking down the cost of living in a class-A apartment among two or three individuals allows them to live in a nicer property that goes for a higher per-month rental rate, says Wilhelm. “We’re also seeing it in student housing. Where we used to see two or three individuals in an apartment, we have a property that has four or even six beds in some rooms. They’re stacking beds to be able to fit more tenants.”

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