Micro apartments are becoming a more popular real estate trend, and they are part of the miniature housing movement that has been developing for several years. New York City’s Manhattan micro units are often cited as examples of how this trend is growing in crowded areas that often leave people with few rental options.
Micro Apartments in New York
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed an entire building of micro apartments ranging from 250 to 370 square feet. The small units are being built to help people who are struggling to find rental options in the city and who are being challenged by some of the high rents. With a renewed focus on affordable housing, the apartments are meant to solve one of New York’s biggest problems in real estate. However, the former mayor’s proposal is not the only building that has tiny units, and residents have discovered many small apartments throughout the city.
Micro Apartment Benefits
Supporters of the micro apartment trend point to the ability to make affordable housing a reality in crowded cities that have valuable real estate. In addition, the small units can encourage people to live simpler lifestyles and make moving easier because of a smaller amount of belongings. Tiny units are often lauded by people who prefer a more mobile lifestyle that does not hinge on accumulating belongings.
Micro Apartment Problems
Critics of micro apartments worry that the creation of entire buildings with small units can lead to urban slums. A small apartment may trap a renter and prevent this person from getting married or starting a family. Additionally, living in tiny spaces may affect some people’s mental health and may not be a good housing alternative for long periods of time. Furthermore, critics suggest that the cheaper rent for a small unit will continue to increase over the years, and developers will be encouraged to charge more for less space while people will become used to living in shoe boxes.
The Future of Small Apartments
New York’s unique housing challenges have made small apartments common, but real estate experts believe that the trend may not extend beyond crowded cities. Since many parts of the country have an adequate amount of space and actually struggle to attract renters, micro apartments may not appear in every town in the United States.