Are Millennials Homebodies?

New research reveals some surprising tendencies among Gen Y renters.

July 12, 2013

A quick scan of the apartment amenities preferred by Millennial—or Generation Y—renters reveals some pronounced nesting tendencies. A series of surveys on renter preferences conducted by J Turner Research found that the top three apartment amenities for renters age 35 and under were an in-unit washer/dryer, a gym, and additional storage in the unit. The most important design attributes were (in descending order) a large kitchen, upgraded appliances, and additional storage. That’s in contrast to Gen Xers, who ranked kitchen size as only third in their design preferences, says Joseph Batdorf, president of the firm.

Regarding location, Millennials, like all renter groups except Silent Generation retirees, ranked proximity to work as the most important criteria. Next came access to restaurants and nightlife, followed by access to parks and green space for every group except baby boomers. That group ranked proximity to family and friends higher.

One surprise was the importance of Craigslist to Millennial renters, says Batdorf. “It didn’t show up at all for the other groups,” says Batdorf. Also noteworthy: Renters who used Craigslist paid a higher rent than those who found apartments on other sites.

Also unexpected was the degree to which Millennials trusted site reviews, says Batdorf. While renter-specific sites such as, Apartment, and Rent
.com often had an important influence on a renter’s decision, it was the reviews on that renters trusted most. “Perhaps it’s because users are accustomed to reading other types of reviews on the site,” he suggests. The company surveyed more than 43,000 residents at 1,231 apartment communities across the country.

Mariwyn Evans

Mariwyn Evans is a former REALTOR® Magazine writer and editor, covering both residential brokerage and commercial real estate topics.