Houston Offers Apartment Renters Too Many Amenities
Is too many amenities a bad thing? The Houston apartment industry oversupplies facilities with services and features, including ones renters don't want, according to a report released Wednesday by Apartment List, an online apartment rental marketplace.
“Houston falls into the category of what we are calling too-many-amenities metros,” Apartment List Housing Economist Chris Salviati said. “[Renters] are likely to find all the amenities they are looking for, but also likely to end up with extra amenities that they are not looking for. If you are paying for amenities that you don’t necessarily need that could be a downside for a renter.”
The supply of new rental inventory in Houston is driving the overabundance of amenities — newer properties are more likely to be equipped with the modern amenities. Houston is oversupplied in nine of the 10 amenities profiled, including air conditioning, hardwood floors, dishwasher, parking, gym, balcony, pool and being cat- and dog-friendly.
For example, only 7% of users desire cat-friendly housing yet 78% of housing offered it. The report also showed 40% of users wanted a pool yet 80% of the properties provided one.
Houston is leading the country both in number of amenity offerings and in how well-matched they are with renter demands. In-unit laundry is the only undersupplied amenity in Houston. Sixty percent of users preferred in-unit laundry, but 41% of apartment offered it.
The insufficient stock of facilities with in-unit laundry matches a larger national trend. Fifty-three percent of all site users across the U.S. noted in-unit laundry, while only 13% of all the properties offer it. Other undersupplied amenities elsewhere include air conditioning, parking, dishwasher, gym, pool and hardwood floors.
“In-unit laundry is the holy grail of amenities,” Salviati said. “It's something that most renters are looking for but very few properties have.”