gary bechtel Gary Bechtel

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“Millennials are moving to the extremes when it comes to multifamily housing preferences, and developers should begin to take note,” Gary Bechtel, president of tech-enabled commercial real estate lender Money360, tells Bechtel has seen shifting housing demand in the market among millennial and gen-Z renters, with shared co-living spaces rising in demand on one end of the spectrum and luxury apartment living on the other. These changes in housing demand should be informing investment strategy in the multifamily sector.

“Over just the past couple of years, millennial demand created a new multifamily asset class called co-living spaces, which function more like dorm living than apartment living where an individual rents his or her own private bedroom but shares common spaces like the kitchen and living room with other renters,” says Bechtel.

Shared co-living spaces are relatively new to the market, but several operators have sprung up quickly to bring new assets to the market. These spaces are largely an effect of the rising cost of rent. However, they work for younger millennials and gen-Z renters that don’t mind shared living and want an operator to take care of essentials. For investors, however, these spaces come with more intense property management requirements. “The benefit of this living style for developers and investors is the ability to create more revenue producing rooms, out of similar fixed square footage,” says Bechtel. “However, there are tradeoffs: rents tend to be less and these properties often require more active building maintenance for the shared spaces.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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