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As people’s needs and wants evolve in a rapidly changing world, our built environments have to transform alongside them. Residential trends have adjusted to accommodate shifting values, priorities, and lifestyles, and they’ve done so in ways that are unique to specific audiences. MAWD has identified three major forces that will continue to shape urban multifamily residential trends.

1. Increased Awareness

With 40% of global carbon emissions being traced back to the real estate industry, a greater focus is continually being paid to the reduction of CO2 from both construction and building performance (Forbes, 2022).

As greater attention is given to both sustainability and wellness, these topics will continue to influence architecture and real estate development. Environmentally-conscious practices are projected to expand their influence into the world of interiors with the increased use of upcycled and recycled materials as technology improves, making them more luxurious and durable.

Equally important is the health of a building’s occupants. Characteristics like low VOC finishes and the preference for natural materials over fabricated ones are emerging trends that are being driven by consumers to address environmental and health related concerns.

As the parameters of occupant health continue to expand, new guidelines, such as that of the WELL Building Institutes, have become commonplace, incorporating social, emotional, and purpose-driven markers of wellbeing above physical wellness alone.

It’s quite simple: the environment impacts health. Studies have shown that being in nature can restore and strengthen our mental capacities, increasing focus and attention.”

2. Amplified User Experiences

If increased awareness will drive a focus on the facts of wellbeing, a desire for a unique and tailored user experience will inform amenities and “Wow Moments.”

There is no longer a set formula for success when designing a multifamily residence; while a traditional gym may work for one project, another may benefit from private fitness pods or a meditation room. At MAWD we call this “The Luxury of Consideration,” which means that every moment of a prospective resident’s day is being accounted for, with them, specifically, in mind. This is adaptation is accomplished through flexible spaces that transform from morning to night.

Amenity spaces have the potential to improve quality of life through infrastructure, but that’s not all. Everyone wants to live in the “It” building – they want to be able to invite guests over, and know that they’ll not only feel welcome, but impressed. Amenities that are not only practical and intuitive, but also eye-catching and buzz-worthy — from a rooftop pool with stunning views to a co-working space that rivals the office itself – generate interest that support sales and marketing.

Well-designed space is better than more space, and how we experience this space makes all the difference.”

3. Location Trends

As remote work has become more feasible, and more people consider what “quality of life” means to them, for many multifamily residents, the first choice they’ve made in the moving process is not which building they want to live in — but which city they want to call home. The unique flavor of specific urban environments must therefore be considered – in materiality, amenities, programming and aesthetic.

For example, a young financial associate recently relocated to Austin from New York may want the luxurious finishes they had previously, but with a more relaxed look and feel. With festivals on tap and outdoor activities available all year, they may want a music room as opposed to a large gym.

Although much has been made of Younger Millennials and Gen-Z relocating to hotspots like Austin and Nashville, that’s only half of the story. A new generation of older adults want to maintain the active lifestyle and cultural richness only available to them in the urban centers they love most. MAWD’s recently completed Coterie Cathedral Hill project, designed specifically for this audience, is near iconic landmarks, renowned restaurants, and the Theater District. It's location, along with amenities like a terrace with fire pits and a pet park, a Club Room for art classes and social events, and six signature dining options, make it an inspiring and personalized place to live.

What do people want from their location: convenience, community, and accessibility.”

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