Phoenix ranks No. 7 for number of apartments with fitness amenities

Above: Optima amenities. Real Estate | 24 Feb |

With home taking center stage in our lives during the last two years, easy access to fitness is more important than ever. To that end, four cities in Texas have the most apartments in communities with fitness amenities, with Houston boasting the largest number of fitness-friendly rentals. Meanwhile, all apartments in Tempe and Chandler, AZ, as well as four other cities, feature fitness facilities. The most popular sports amenities in apartment communities are swimming pools, fitness centers and spas.

As many gyms and other fitness centers operate at reduced capacity, having access to a private gym or swimming pool can be a blessing. Fortunately, renters don’t have to look very far from home, as many new apartment communities offer some type of fitness amenity, such as a gym, pool or tennis court. With this in mind, we were curious to find out which cities are best fit for sports-minded renters. So, using data from Yardi Matrix, we analyzed all apartment communities with fitness amenities.


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Here’s what we found:

• Phoenix claims no. 7 nationally for the largest number of apartments with on-site access to sports amenities: 137,000. That’s 97% of all of the city’s apartments located in 50+ communities.

• Phoenix also has the most apartments with access to golf frontage: over 5,000. At the same time, it’s second nationally based on the number of apartments with access to a spa.

• Surrounding suburbs also stand out, as apartments in Tempe and Chandler, all have on-site access to sports amenities. 99% of apartments in Scottsdale and Mesa are covered for renters’ activity needs, and 97% of apartments in Glendale have on-site access.

Today, as many as 91% of newly-built apartments in the U.S. are fitness-friendly. In other words, they’re located in a rental community with at least one fitness amenity. In fact, in the past two decades, there’s been a growing trend of building apartment communities with on-site sports facilities as developers strive to meet renters’ appetite for physical activity and convenience — a trend that has accelerated dramatically since 2010.

Swimming pools are more common than fitness centers in apartment communities

The most common fitness amenity in rental communities is the swimming pool. Around 69% of the nation's sports-friendly apartments are located in a rental community with a pool — even more so than fitness centers, as only 60% of apartments have an on-site gym. Without a doubt, these two fitness amenities are the most coveted amenities nationwide, well ahead of other fitness-related amenities. Meanwhile, only 25% of apartments have access to an on-site spa, the third most popular amenity. And when it comes to sports courts, tennis wins the popularity contest: 17% of rentals are located in communities with tennis courts, followed by communities with basketball courts, which represent 13% of apartments.

Everything is larger in Texas, even the number of apartments with on-site fitness amenities

After crunching the numbers, we found that four Texas cities earned the top spots in our ranking, boasting the largest numbers of rental apartments with access to some type of fitness amenity. By far, Houston has the largest number of apartments for rent with on-site sports facilities (440,000). Dallas apartments are the second-best choice for active renters (233,000), followed by Austin apartments (195,000) and San Antonio apartments (183,000).

At first, one might think that the Texas Triangle is experiencing a wellness craze. But, the reality on the ground is a bit different. Texas’ population increased by 3.9 million people (or 15.9%) between 2010 and 2020, adding more residents than any other U.S. state. And, notably, most of the growth occurred in the Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas metros, prompting developers to build many new apartment buildings in the last decade — the majority of which come with fitness amenities.

Behind the Lone Start State, Atlanta is the first location to break the Texas spell, coming in at No. 5 in our ranking. Boasting 158,000 apartments with on-site fitness facilities, people living in Atlanta rentals enjoy the convenience of going for a swim or hitting the gym right within their apartment community.

100% of apartments in six locations have on-site sports amenities

Furthermore, when we calculated the share of apartments with access to on-site fitness amenities out of the total apartments, we found that in six cities all apartment communities have access to some type of sports amenity. In other words, all renters who call these sunny cities home can exercise right where they live: Tempe and Chandler, AZ; Katy and Frisco, TX; Tustin, CA; and Duluth, GA.

These six cities share a common thread: Most rental communities here were built within the last 20 years. What's more, the majority of apartments in these locations are high-end, boasting designs and amenities that promote physical activity and wellness.

Not to be outdone, Cary, NC; Paradise, NV; Irvine, CA, and other cities in Texas and Arizona follow closely with a 99% share. In fact, about half of the markets in our ranking boast overwhelming shares of on-site sports facilities of 90% and up.

Digging further into our data, we found that, sports amenities were not restricted to high-end communities. For example, only 44% of the total number of apartments in Houston that have access to fitness facilities are located in luxury communities, followed by Dallas (51%) and Austin (62%).

However, it's a different story in Atlanta, where 73% of apartments with sports amenities are in luxury communities — the highest percentage of high-end apartments in our top 10 cities for sports-minded renters.

Methodology

RentCafe.com is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the U.S. 

To compile this ranking, RentCafe.com’s research team analyzed Yardi Matrix apartment data across 170 markets (nearly 4,000 cities) in the U.S. The data includes only large-scale multifamily properties of 50 units or more that were completed through January 2022.

The city rankings are based on the number of apartments located in rental communities with at least one on-site fitness amenity. Cities with less than 50 multifamily properties were not included in the analysis.

The share of rentals with access to some type of on-site fitness amenity was calculated from the total number of rental apartments in the specified locations that were completed through January 2022.

The terms fitness amenities, fitness facilities, sports amenities and sports facilities are used interchangeably and refer to common area amenities in rental communities or buildings. Fitness amenities analyzed include: swimming pools, fitness centers, spas, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, racquetball courts, sport courts and golf course frontages.

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