Once upon a time, there were "apartment houses", which soon got shortened
to apartments. In England, we have flats. Sometimes, when people start talking
in real-estate jargon, you might hear about condos and co-ops and duplexes and
other such arcana.
But if you’re selling a luxury condominium development these days, you don’t
call it a luxury condo. (Everything
is luxury, these days.) Instead, you call the apartments "residences".
Or, better yet, "The Residences at [enter name of development here]".
It’s weird. For me, at least, "residences" connotes dingy housing
for old people, or dingier university dorms. But suddenly it seems to have acquired
a parallel, ultra-upscale connotation. It’ll be interesting to see (a) how long
the "residences" fad lasts, and (b) how long it will be before crappy
rental buildings get in on the game and essentially every new development starts
carrying the tag.