Thursday, August 09, 2012

Rent Rises Lead to Shrinking Apartment Sizes

Rents nationwide are rising faster than home prices, leading several major cities to encourage developers to develop more apartment complexes. Some cities believe the answer is to shrink the minimum apartment size, to build 'micro-units' for singles and couples.

Good Magazine reports that San Francisco is currently considering a proposal that would allow living spaces as small as 150 square feet, plus kitchenette, bathroom, and closet -- basically the size of a parking space and a one-car garage. The immediate goal is to create more housing and lower rent prices, which in San Francisco climbed 15 percent in June.

(Condos aren't immune from this trend. The 175 sq. ft, studio pictured here recently sold in Manhattan for 195k.)

Boston is talking about shrinking the minimum unit size from 450 to 350 square feet, and New York recently introduced the adAPT challenge to design 275-300 square-foot apartments in Manhattan, addressing the fact that some 800,000 people are expected to move to the Big Apple over the next 20 years, and there's only room for about 100,000 of them.


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