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Smart-home technology gains a foothold in MDU in USA

Until now, adoption of smart-home technology has been dominated by single-family, detached homes. However, with consumers becoming more educated and smart-home platforms improving their reliability, other sectors now are poised for rapid adoption, such as the multi-family dwelling units (MDU) market. Despite this growth, penetration of smart-home technology in MDUs is expected to remain negligible during the next five years.

According to the US Census Bureau, about 34 percent of all occupied housing units in the United States in 2017 were rented. Of these housing units, about 15 million were single-family and 23 million were structures incorporating three or more apartment units.

In terms of US structures with three or more units, IHS Markit estimates that only about 1.5 percent had one or more smart-home device installed in 2018. In 2024, about 7.3 percent of MDUs in the United States will have at least one smart-home device installed in their units, as shown in the figure below. This means that about 3.1 million smart-home devices will be shipped into MDUs in the United States in 2024, representing about 1 percent of all smart-home device shipments.

The market opportunity for smart-home technology is in its infancy. Property managers, owners, investors, service providers, devices makers, and platform providers are all employing slightly different business models and approaches. There presently are not any clear leaders, and although the penetration rates are low today, the growth curve is expected to remain steep for many years.

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