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Green Building News

Millennial Renters Will Pay for Smart-Home Tech

Research finds that younger renters place a high value on technology and security

Home automation features such as keyless entry are a strong draw for millennial renters, a recent study found.
Image Credit: Iphonedigital / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Millennials are more willing than baby boomers to pay higher rents for housing equipped with automated and remote-control devices, a recent study says.

According to a survey of 1,000 multifamily renters in the U.S. by Wakefield Research and Schlage, 86% of millennials said they’d pay higher rents for features like keyless entry doors, while only 65% of baby boomers agreed, Construction Dive reported.

When housing incorporated smart technology, millennials were comfortable with rents that were 20% higher.

The study published by Schlage, a manufacturer of door hardware, found that 61% of millennials were likely to rent an apartment specifically because it came with electronic access. Conversely, 63% would move out of an apartment because of inadequate security; and 44% said they would give up a parking space to live in a high-tech apartment.

(There’s no standard for who’s considered a millennial, also called Generation Y, but this article in The Atlantic provides some background, and defines millennials as those born between 1982 and 2004.)

Big builders are taking note as more first-time home buyers enter the housing market. In two new communities in California’s Silicon Valley, KB Home has included home automation features controlled through the Apple HomeKit platform, Construction Dive reported separately.

The technology allows homeowners to control lighting, HVAC systems, garage doors, cameras, thermostats, windows shades, and door locks with their iPhones or iPads.

For more information on installing smart-home technology in rental units, see Firm Will Test Smart Features in Rentals.


  1. Expert Member

    An apt quote?
    "SF tech culture is focused on solving one problem: what is my mother no longer doing for me?"

  2. exeric | | #2

    A malignant comment
    Your "unbiased" attitude is showing a little malignancy, Malcolm. Perhaps its time to dust off the definition of what general prejudice is: Adjusting facts to one's preconceived preferencial ideas. I see more than a little of that in some of your comments. Always remember that if you want to make this site appreciated by all, instead of just a few, these comments of yours do not help.

  3. Expert Member

    Thanks Eric.
    I'll keep that in mind.

  4. JC72 | | #4

    @Malcom. *clapping* That was hilarous.
    Smart Home Tech seems to be more about a solution in search of a problem.

  5. Expert Member

    Chris M
    It's a strange story. A report commissioned by a manufacturer purports to show (unsurprisingly) that if you incorporate their products into a project you will recoup the costs. And most of the tech being discussed has no, or marginal, connection to energy efficiency.

    I look forward to their next release of research showing people are willing to pay more for their coffee at Starbucks than MacDonalds.

  6. kyeser | | #6

    @Eric Habegger
    Don't get so eggxited at Malcolm I think he was just yoking. I thought it was an applicably funny comment...

  7. exeric | | #7

    Actually my response didn't
    Actually my response didn't have much to do with my identifying with the problem. It more has to do with knowing there is always a political backlash to people in California throughout much of the United States. I've known about this problem for years. I went to college in Indiana 40 years ago and was amazed at the stereotypes people had of us. It's always been around and denying it doesn't make it go away. Now with the political landscape changed for the worse in this country I expect to see more and more passive aggressive attacks against Californians because we just don't believe in much of the crap people in some other parts of the country believe in. I doubt I'll be posting here anymore as it seems increasingly hostile here.

    I know many people will accuse me of projecting. That's OK. That's the first defense when someone wants to ignore self examination because its inconvenient.

  8. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #8

    Response to Eric Habegger
    Comments on this web site span a wide range of opinions. It should go without saying that I don't agree with all comments posted here -- and neither will you. A diversity of viewpoints is OK.

    Needless to say, some of the the comments we disagree with may be serious. Others may be lighthearted, and not intended to be taken too seriously.

    Anyway, I hope you keep reading GBA and posting comments here.

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