As space is too often a premium in places like Vancouver, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York, micro units and studios in new condo and apartment developments have risen in demand globally. City skylines are quickly being reshaped by new towers rising, aiming towards a new vertical lifestyle that meets the demand of small unit affordability.
Looking at the United States, the Urban Land Institute released The Macro View on Micro Units report in 2014, detailing that smaller units now enjoy higher overall occupancy rates across every region of the US.
These findings, while collected between 2012 and 2013, are the most updated information of its kind. It represents a trending shift for project developers and builders to meet the demand of buyers.
Per the report, completed developments in the US sold more units built with less than 600 square feet than any other unit size. The national average was 91.3% for less than 600 sq. ft., over 89.6% for 600-1,000 sq. ft., and 89.3% for more than 1,000 sq. ft.
Digging deeper, the Urban Land Institute illustrates a detailed breakdown of occupancy units sold by size, from less than 500 sq. ft. to more than 1,299 sq. ft. for new developments.
Units with 1 bedroom have led the United States’ national real estate market in new development cycles. This trend shifted its way into the lead over the last decade in the late 2000s and has maintained itself into the 2010s. Studio units are also on the rise, from 1.8% in 2002 to 6.0% up to 2013.
Storage is critical to making micro units livable, making it one of the top considerations in buying a micro unit, next to affordability. Short of providing fully furnished units, look for opportunities that provide built-in seating with storage below, installed wall bed configurations, modular kitchen solutions, and optimal bathroom designs.