With the world’s population continuing to grow exponentially, property prices are following suit. Unprecedented and interminably rising levels of population density in urban areas have made every foot of land that much more important. As a result, people are having to become more economical in their real estate endeavours, or simply opt for a more suburban lifestyle.
A prime example of this forced economic ingenuity is the recent popularity of so called “Micro apartments”. A micro apartment is a one-room, self-contained living space. Micro apartments are usually designed to accommodate a sleeping space, sitting space, bathroom and kitchenette. These apartments range anywhere from 15-35 square meters in size. In urban megacities where space has long been at a premium, such as Tokyo and Hong Kong, they have been around for decades. However, in cities that have recently felt population pressure, they have become both a cost-effective and trendy option.
People have been drawn to the concept of micro apartments due to their innovative and resourceful accommodation of all the facets of an ordinary apartment, in a far more confined space. This often involves multipurpose appliances and fold-out or concealable furniture and sleeping spaces.
Speaking regarding the newfound popularity of micro apartments in the United States, urban planner and professor at Pace University Justin Woods stated, “A lot of research has shown that millennials aren’t as concerned with space for entertaining, they’re much more concerned with amenities and location”. Research demonstrates that the tiny compositions are mostly owned to adults who are between 20 and 36 years old. It can be argued that this is the primary force behind the recent popularity of the apartments. Micro apartments provide the prospect of affordable urban living for young, average wage earning millennials.
The diversity of said apartments has also been a lure to the younger generation. The capacity to transform their living space on a day to day basis has been a great fit for the lifestyle of young people. Beds and couches can be tucked away in anticipation of accompanying friends, for instance. An affordable space in an urban area, that can be moulded to meet the diverse needs of a young adult’s life? It’s no secret as to why micro apartments are moving in so quickly.
Professor Justin Woods also went on to proclaim that the construction of micro apartments is another step toward addressing an affordable housing crisis that exists in many urban centres; “If we can create more housing units with less space in denser areas… the supply goes up” said Woods. It certainly seems as if they could be the way of the future.
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