The US is dealing with a major housing affordability crisis, caused by an epic mismatch of supply and demand. The cost of housing in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle has skyrocketed. With the need for attainable housing surging in urban centers, many people are talking about ‘micro apartments,’ as an alternative to the traditional studio or one-bedroom apartment.
What are Micro Apartments?
Micro apartments range from 180-400 square feet depending on market and include a place to sleep, a small kitchen, a bathroom, and a small living area. They do not include an expansive kitchen or a spacious living room. However, building amenity spaces are more extensive and purpose-built as common areas that fulfill residents’ needs, resulting in much more efficient use of space. The price point of these units is usually considerably lower than for standard apartments in the same neighborhood.
Increasingly, young professionals, drawn to the employment opportunities and lifestyle of city living, are looking for micros. Micro apartments offer this demographic the ability to enter this urban way of life at a price point that won’t break the bank. What they lack in space, they make up for in terms of flexibility. Allowing residents to:
- Have more discretionary income
- Reside in some of the country’s most vibrant and diverse areas
- Have a high-quality home of their own
- Eliminate a lengthy commute and quickly get to tech campuses, hospitals, and office towers on foot, bike, or mass transit
Micro Apartments and Health and Safety
In the past couple of years, there has been an increased focus on both co-living and micro apartments as solutions making urban living more cost-effective. However, with the emergence of COVID-19, residents are increasingly seeking micro apartments. At Housing Diversity Corporation, each of our micro apartments features a dedicated HVAC system with no shared air ventilation. Having a private, clean, safe space of their own is a definite advantage for residents. Large outdoor amenity spaces and tech-enabled messaging to other residents are also attractive in the post-pandemic environment.
Developing and Investing in Micro Apartments
From a developer’s or investor’s point of view, micro apartments are a win-win, delivering on financial returns and social impact goals. Buildings house more residents, renting smaller spaces, increasing housing abundance, and lowering carbon footprints. Personal living space is exchanged for communal living space. Larger kitchens, lounges, and other amenities are built for the entire community rather than for each unit, decreasing construction costs and lowering monthly rents for residents while delivering higher dollar per square foot rents for the developer and investor and assuring demand for the housing.
Ultimately, micro apartments allow residents to live in the locations they prefer while spending less of their income on rent, resulting in increased income diversity within communities. Beneficial for the public and advantageous to build, micro apartments deliver an effective housing solution to revitalize city centers for cost-pressed urbanites.