It isn’t that uncommon in today’s society to have an 18-26-year-old still living at home with their parents. This generation is known as the Millennials.

While the definition of the Millennial, also known as Generation Y, isn’t exact, it generally includes those born starting in the early 1980s right up to the mid-1990s (and possibly into the early 2000s). This is the generation that grew up with technology – video games, cell phones, and computers.

For many young adults who fall into this category, they don’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to leave the nest. There are, however, a number of trends (perhaps started by the parents!) that are surfacing to tailor apartments to meet the demands of this new generation of tenants. Some of the ideas that are materializing across Canada to target the millennials include:

1. Smaller floor plans, but with quality finishes. The new trend is to offer less space than the traditional 900+ square foot apartment. More and more units at 500-600 square feet are now available at the same price point as the traditional units, however, they offer higher-end finishes like luxury vinyl plank flooring, quartz countertops and wall mounts for smart televisions.

2. Pet-friendly. According to Pet Business Magazine, 7 out of 10 Millennials have pets. If rental units are going to satisfy the demands and expectations of this market, then they must accommodate pets.

3. Common Spaces. Shared spaces like a dog run, dog wash areas, courtyards, rooftop patios, common barbecue areas, and video game rooms are being incorporated into new communities to make the apartments that much more attractive to this demographic.

4. Flexible leases. There is a trend to offer furnished units and allow weekly rentals versus monthly, allowing those entering their careers more flexible options when it comes to making a commitment. Property owners and managers are also switching to ‘all in pricing,’ which means rather than having to pay rent, an electricity bill and other utilities such as water and Internet, the tenant would just pay one fee. Therefore, instead of paying $1,200 (all in) for a more traditional, unfurnished unit, a furnished unit might go for $400 to $600 per week and could be negotiated down for those looking for longer-term commitments.

5. Marijuana-friendly floors. In the larger markets, there are areas of the building or entire floors that have improved ventilation that allows for marijuana to be smoked right within the building or the apartment itself. This means that those who do smoke cannabis can do it in the privacy of their own rental unit, whereas those who don’t smoke electric lettuce have the same amenities, but aren’t having to deal with the funky smell.

6. Commercial and retail amenities. Property owners will often allow space on the main floor of the building for an upscale coffee shop, small, trendy restaurant or a pub. This brings vibrancy to the community and allows the tenants to socialize without actually having to leave the building. Places with boutique fitness centres and yoga studios are also very popular.

Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management. VHP currently has nearly 4,000 units under management in Manitoba. For more information please visit VHP has committed to constructing 128 multifamily residential units in Portage la Prairie that will be ready for occupancy in spring of 2019.

Article by Jason Roblin. Find him on LinkedIn!