Tiny homes and micro apartment units have gained popularity among Americans that want a less expensive and less materialistic lifestyle. But does anyone really want to live in a 200-square-foot box? MarketWatch reporter Daniel Goldstein asks the question: why do so many Americans gravitate towards 225-square-foot dwellings in a society with macro tastes for SUVs and Big Gulps?
Micro units have evolved from cheap housing for post-graduates, many of whom are used to living in a dorm, to a hot commodity for other generations as well, such as baby boomers looking to downsize.
Chuck Reed, an attorney with the law firm of Hopkins & Carley in San Jose, Calif., who served as mayor of that Silicon Valley city from 2007 to 2015, said he thinks micro apartments aren’t just for millennials but can be marketed to seniors and low-income residents as well. “I think it’s a way to bring the costs of a project down, which helps fund more affordable housing,” said Reed. “We’ll see more and more of it.”
But not everyone is convinced that the micro-housing trend is here to stay, considering Americans tend to want things that are bigger and better. Kevin Finkel, senior vice president at Resource REI, a Philadelphia-based real estate investment trust that develops multifamily housing, called micro apartments a fad, saying only in places like Seattle or San Francisco, where land costs are tight and smaller spaces are more common, will this sort of living space truly catch on.