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New Locations and a Greener Tomorrow: Taking the Pulse of the Young American Renter

By Todd Williams, Chief Investment Officer

Green features continue to feature prominently in young renters’ priorities, according to the '2023 State of the Young American Renter' survey.

For the second year, Grubb Properties and Wakefield Research polled 1,000 American renters aged 22–35 in apartment communities to gauge their attitudes and perspectives on the current rental and economic environment. This year, we further refined the survey group to those living in apartment communities of 10 units or more in the 100 largest US metropolitan areas.

In addition to asking for their thoughts on the importance of community and their happiness with their current rental situation, we explored their thoughts on environmental factors, both in today’s rental market and in the future.

More than four out of five (82%) stated that energy efficiency and environmentally friendly apartment complexes are at least somewhat influential in their decision on where to rent.

Grubb Properties Survey

We also asked young renters to peer into their crystal balls to envision apartments ten years from now. When asked which amenities they would most like to have, sustainability technology like solar power and advanced recycling systems took the top spot.

Grubb Properties Survey

“Along with our primary mission of mitigating the nation’s housing crisis, Grubb Properties is also focused on creating resiliency throughout our multifamily portfolio,” said Todd Williams, Chief Investment Officer. “We’re building new communities in some of the most supply-constrained areas of the country, including Los Angeles, New York, the Bay Area, and Washington, DC. To ensure environmental resiliency, we utilize environmental screening to identify and avoid climate-related risks, and we prioritize sustainability, targeting at least a National Green Building Standard Silver certificate for all new projects.”

Greener Pastures, with Pets

More than half of young renters (52%) say they will likely move to a new state within the next five years. When asked why, almost a third (31%) cited lower cost of living, followed by job opportunities (18%) and a more appealing climate (12%).

Young American Renter Survey

And they made it clear that their pets will stay with them, whether they move or not. Of pet owners surveyed, three out of four (75%) agreed they’d never consider a pet-free building.

Young American Renter Survey

Click here to download the full Executive Summary of 2023’s State of the Young American Renter Survey.

Survey Background

The Grubb Properties State of the Young American Renter Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,000 young apartment renters (defined as renters ages 22–35) living in apartment buildings with 10 or more units in the top 100 Designated Marketing Area markets, between September 1–19, 2023, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

Due to rounding, numbers presented throughout this document may not add up precisely to the totals provided and percentages may not precisely reflect the absolute figures.

Todd Williams
Todd Williams

Chief Investment Officer of Grubb Properties