One of the new trends when it comes to living in New York is the micro-apartment. Inspired in some ways by the creation of tiny apartments in Hong Kong in order to maximize the available space, New York is now seeing new micro-apartments springing up in different parts of the city.
What are Micro-Apartments?
These are apartments that range in size from about 250 to 350 square feet. However, they are very nicely constructed and often come with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and the like. Because of their small size, the rent for the apartments is naturally smaller
Although micro-apartments are starting to be built across the U.S., New York is one of the leading areas thanks to a demographic shift of more people living alone or with a partner instead of families that larger size apartments take into account. In response, the micro-apartment idea is being adapted in greater numbers in places like New York City and across the U.S. where affordable living spaces are at a premium.
In addition, the shortage of affordable housing in New York City is also driving the market for micro-apartments. One particular project in Capitol Park will offer 219 micro-units at just over 300 square feet each with a monthly rental price being at least $625 per apartment. There are reports of thousands of applications for every single micro-apartment becoming available which demonstrates the need for this type of affordable housing in New York.
Are Micro-Apartments Just a Fad?
In New York, zoning laws are being changed to allow for living spaces less than 400 square feet. However, New York already has over 3,000 apartments of that size or smaller since 1987. In addition, the apartments themselves make clever use of the space they offer with fold-up or Murphy-style beds along with appliances and conveniences that fill the surrounding area of the apartment itself to provide more space during the day.
However, the micro-apartment is really only suitable for one person, although a couple might be able to live with some comfort. This means that as soon as someone finds another place to live with or a couple decides to start a family, they will need to consider moving to a larger space.
Another potential downside is that currently there are nearly 500 studio-size apartments for rent in the Manhattan area that fall into the same price range. This means that micro-apartments still have competition in terms of their overall price. However, it may be fair to state that many of these newer units offer more amenities or services than some of the similarly priced studio versions that are currently on the market.
Today, it appears that the demand for micro-apartments is very much alive and well based on the number of applicants that the new developments are garnering. However, whether they remain in high demand will depend in large part on how the competition adjusts and whether the demographic changes that brought about this current trend will last.