Apartment amenities can vary widely from city to city and building to building. During the pandemic, American renters’ needs and preferences in regards to amenities have also no doubt shifted, depending on individual circumstances.

As of February, 36 percent of U.S. renters reported being unsatisfied with their current apartment amenities, according to a 3,000-person survey conducted by Apartment Guide using Google Surveys during the month of February.

During this pandemic-ridden year of staying at home, the most desired amenity among renters was more storage space, with 31 percent craving this amenity. After that, came two other pandemic necessities for work-from-homers: 16 percent of survey respondents wanted a dishwasher and 16 percent wanted fast, reliable Wi-Fi. Additionally, 15 percent of respondents wanted parking options, 11 percent desired central heating and air conditioning, and 11 percent dreamed of in-unit washer and dryers.

Interestingly, while storage space was the most coveted amenity for those who didn’t already have much of it, that was also the amenity that renters who already had it were most willing to give up for something else — over 90 percent of survey respondents say they could do without it.

As far as Wi-Fi goes, a recent study from the National Multifamily Housing Council and Kingsley Associates found that almost half of renters check their cell phone reception while touring an apartment, and more than 90 percent report that high-speed internet is important to them.

Apartment Guide’s survey also found that if renters want it badly enough, they’re willing to shell out a fair amount of cash for a new amenity — especially men. “We found that 38 percent of Americans would pay up to $100 or more for a new living amenity, even during tough economic times,” the study, authored by Alex Heinz, states. “Men were more than twice as likely to be willing to pay $200+ for an amenity.”

In large U.S. cities, renters were most willing to empty their pockets for an apartment building that included a doorman. Across New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, renters were willing to pay a weighted average price of $202 per month for a doorman.

During these strange times, renters also realized what amenities they already had that were most important, namely central heating and air conditioning (33 percent of renters valued it most) and a washer/dryer (23 percent). In order to have a washer/dryer in-unit, renters in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago (the three largest U.S. cities by population) pay an average premium of $62 per month.

Email Lillian Dickerson

coronavirus | rentals
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