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Micro-Apartment Trend in Big Cities

Micro Apartments in San Francisco
Possible design for micro-apartment in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of

Based on a shortage in available housing in large cities across the globe, there is a new focus on changes to the urban housing market. For example, New York City has 1.8 Million one and two person households, but there are only 1 Million studio and one-bedroom apartments currently available in Manhattan. This means that many apartments have been “illegally” converted to multiple units in order to meet the demand. There has been a newer trend for these cities to look at building micro apartments ranging from 220 square feet to 300 square feet. The smaller units are rented at a lower amount, making it more affordable for recent college graduates moving to the big city. The micro-apartments in New York City will rent for $2,000 a month while the micro apartments in San Francisco will rent for $1,500 a month. These apartments are close to major business areas and transportation in the city. Large cities such as Boston, Chicago and London are also looking at updating housing and zoning laws in their towns to build these micro apartment buildings.

The micro apartments average 300 square feet with some spaces actually being even smaller. The room has a kitchen, living space and a bathroom. The living space can also be used as the bedroom or sleeping area. With places this small, you will need to be very creative with your furniture, storage and belongings. Furniture will need to serve multiple purposes in the room. For example, an ottoman will need to also be a coffee table (or even a table) and be used for storage. A micro-apartment dweller will need to be very organized and use every nook and cranny in the allotted space. In some cases, this could include storing a bike in the bathtub! You will not be able to clutter the spaces in these apartments with a lot of “stuff”.

So, what do you do with your belongings that won’t fit into a micro-apartment?  You will need to rent a storage unit. It is important to find a storage facility that is near you apartment so you can easily access your items. If you are a recent college graduate, the micro-apartment can be a great option, but what will you do with all of the items that you have accumulated during your college years? You will need to find a storage option, because the micro-apartment will not have much storage. If you decide to downsize and move to the city to be closer to your job, then you will have to think about what you will want to keep in your apartment and what you will need to put away in storage. Storage units are perfect to store clothes, suitcases and boxes of personal belongings that you cannot throw away.

Time will tell if these micro apartments will be successful and will help alleviate some of the housing problems in the big cities. If you have a chance to move closer to a job in the city and live in a micro-apartment would you?

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