Influence of Lifestyle on Housing Preferences of Multifamily Housing Residents
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Lifestyle is a popular concept used to understand consumers' behaviors; however, the lifestyle concept rarely has been applied to housing studies. Although renting a multifamily dwelling is a non-normative housing choice in the United States, many people prefer to rent multifamily housing units for reasons other than financial. The purpose of this study is to identify the housing preferences of multifamily housing residents as determined by their lifestyles. The model of influences on housing choice was used as a theoretical framework for the study. Fifty nine housing activity, interest, and opinion (AIO) statements were developed as a lifestyle measurement for this study. A total of 211 responses were collected from residents of nine selected apartment communities in Charlotte, N.C., through two phases of questionnaire surveys. The respondents were represented by young single-person or couple households with high income and college degrees or higher education. Four lifestyle factors (Well-being, Social, Spaces, and Envirotech) were derived from housing interest and opinion items, and the respondents were grouped into four lifestyle clusters (Community Cluster, Basics Cluster, Home Cluster, and Environment Cluster) on the basis of the lifestyle factors. The relationships between the lifestyle clusters and their housing preferences were tested and the model of influences on housing choice was partially supported. Households in the Community Cluster had a strong downtown-orientation and the weakest perception of homeownership, and preferred to have security features. Households in the Basics Cluster had the weakest preferences for apartment home and community features and the second weakest perception of homeownership. Households in the Home Cluster had the strongest perception of homeownership and relatively strong feature preferences, including preferences for upscale interior design features. Households in the Environment Cluster had a strong suburban-orientation and preferred to have outdoor parking spaces in front of the building, plant watering service, and an on-site car care center. The findings from this study can be applied to the design and management of apartment communities and to marketing strategies that are sensitive to lifestyle concepts. Because of the unique sampling framework, the results from this study cannot be generalized. Instead, it is recommended that further research studies test the housing AIO statements with different groups in diverse markets.
- Doctoral Dissertations