The Pandemic Has Changed How Renters Apartment Hunt, Per a New Report

published Apr 17, 2021
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During pre-pandemic times, apartment hunting checklists might have simply consisted of desired square footage, in-unit washers and dryers, and perhaps even the absence of secret passageways behind bathroom mirrors that lead to other spooky, abandoned apartments. With changing times, however, comes changing priorities. Rental app Zumper conducted a new study to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted renters’ apartment searches. More specifically, Zumper narrowed in on the top 10 most-coveted amenities among renters during these changing times.

No surprise here, but outdoor space ranked as the No. 1 top apartment amenity among renters. With more time spent at home due to quarantine orders, the search for places with outdoor space on Zumper’s amenities search filter experienced a whopping 143 percent search increase within the last year. Storage came in as the second most-coveted amenity, experiencing a 92 percent search increase as more individuals across the nation adapted to remote work and school. 

The theme of outdoor space continues throughout the report. In fact, six out of the top 10 amenities prioritize the great outdoors. Searches for roof decks (91 percent), balconies (87 percent), gardens (86 percent), swimming pools (78 percent), and decks (73 percent) trailed closely behind the searches for more storage. Other top amenities included garage parking (73 percent) and an in-unit laundry (64 percent), according to Zumper’s findings.

Zumper analyzed year-over-year data between December 2019 and December 2020 to determine the results. The rental app also examined price models by location and property type to calculate the average cost of just how much these amenities added to listings. Out of all the amenities, in-unit laundry added the most to a listing, averaging at $170 or more. In terms of outdoor space, a garden averaged as the costlier addition at $144, while a balcony ($35) and roof deck ($68) had the lowest premiums. 

Tell us! Which apartment amenities are you prioritizing during the pandemic?