America is known for excess. Don’t believe it? Go look in your “junk drawer.” There is stuff that could have been thrown out years ago… That right there is excess. However, there is a transition to prove that less is more. The tiny house boom shows that people (mostly millennials) are willing to trade in old habits for a clutter free lifestyle. There is no room for junk drawers in a tiny home. Almost everyone has heard of these not-so elusive tiny homes, yet are completely unaware of micro-apartments filing our cities.
The micro-apartment bandwagon
Sometimes referred to as a micro-flat, these mini apartments average around 300 square feet but can be as small as 50! Micro-apartments take the traditional studio apartment to a new level (or a smaller level). Cramming a bedroom, living room, bathroom, and kitchen into such a tiny area is no small feat. One must be very creative to use the floor plan efficiently. Some are designed with communal bathrooms and kitchens similar to dorms. What’s even more interesting is that this housing typically features high-end appliances and fixtures with property managers marketing affordable luxury.
Micro-apartments aren’t meant for the faint of heart, and even with all the premium fixtures they can still be found at relatively low prices. A tiny living space is obviously not practical for anyone raising a family. That being said, with a current shortage of entry level housing, micro-apartments are perfect for someone fresh out of college without a lot of disposable income. This housing provides a good combination of quality and price. What people don’t know is that these floor plans are currently very popular in foreign countries like Japan. In fact, in Japan’s densely populated areas, micro-apartments are the norm. It is only now that they are becoming popular in northern America.
What it means for property managers
So what do these micro-apartments mean for property managers? First, there is an increase in tenant management as well as unit management. This might seem obvious, but think of all the appliances that are required in each unit, along with the additional tenants to be crammed into these tight spaces. Second, the largest benefit enjoyed by property managers is the increased revenue. You can simply make more money by having more apartments, regardless of size. Another hidden advantage is being able to charge premiums for parking spaces and other shared amenities due to more residents in a smaller location. Some tenants have complained about micro-housing changing the “character” of neighborhoods which is something to watch out for.
Massive micro-housing growth leads to believe that these apartments are here to stay. What do you think about the micro-apartment trend? Browse the gallery below for interesting layouts!