4 min readA little while ago we wrote an article on why you should be living in a small home, the advantages of it and what it offers. You can read that here. Today we look at why the trend of micro-homes is about to skyrocket in built up suburban areas.
With a growing population, and an increasing desire for people to migrate towards CBD’s and inner city precincts, the need to for boutique, yet liveable urban spaces is increasing. The demand does not look like it will dry up, people will be wanting these inner city locations, but unfortunately, there isn’t necessarily anywhere to put them.
The recent trend of micro-units/ homes is taking off and with the desire to live close to built up areas increasing, Australia is looking overseas to see what people are doing and how they are using their spaces in built up areas. So what is a micro unit?
It’s a unit that is under 500 square-feet. And people in cities like NYC have really started to use these spaces creatively. Take a look.
But why does that mean you should invest in a micro-home? Shouldn’t you just leave it to be and keep investing in land? Well no….. And here is why.
1. It’s a proven concept:
Whilst people’s demand and tastes have changed, the micro-apartment has been well utilised for centuries, and is a valuable commodity in established countries running out of space. It would be easy to call a lot of NYC apartments a micro-apartment, as a lot of people are just used to living in under 500 square feet. The difference with these new designs is they are being designed 100% with a focus on usability or (user experience) in tech terms. These new designs aren’t about just having the space and making things the same, it’s about changing the space and making it more functional and usable. Making two things multi purpose.
Now items can function in more than one way. Decreasing the need for more space.
2. It’s really economical:
Australia’s real estate prices are predicted a lot on land value, people quote in square metres. How much did you pay per square metre is a common question people get asked. By having less space, it takes up less land and therefore costs less. It also allows developers to put more developments on blocks, and provides people a way in to the real estate market. The cost to build and develop these is relatively low, meaning the costs in buying them are low as well.
3. It decreases your reliance on owning further assets:
Part of the reasons people buy assets is they have the space to fill them. No car park? No worries… the sharing economy means you no longer need to own assets. Want to get somewhere? Don’t buy a car, use UBER. Want to ride a bike? Use a bike sharing facility. No spare bedroom? Great! You don’t need to buy furniture to fill it. The biggest issues people have with their homes is they have all this space, so find ‘stuff’ to fill it with. The micro-home will prevent that.
4. It’s better for the environment:
By people owning less assets that contribute negatively to the environment, the world will be a better place. The introduction of a sharing economy, and a move away from people owning every asset in their home means that people will be able to undertake more environmentally conscious actions. Less lights in the apartment? Not as much electricity used. Smaller rooms? Not as much heating used to heat them up. This in turn also keeps costs down and makes it more affordable.
5. The demand for them will always be there:
Unfortunately, your dream of building a paradise, 5 bedroom family home in suburbs neighbouring the CBD is running out. Therefore, with the demand to live closer to the CBD people will always want to snap these up, IF they are done tastefully. Apartment vacancies have been at a high, but all of the designs have taken on much of the same approach and at the same price point. If you started to offer tasteful, functional micro apartments at costs much lower than one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, it will be a good test to see the market reception. It is imperative that these be marketed differently to one and two bedroom apartments, as these are ‘micro homes’ and are different.
6. They can still incorporate design preferences.
The limitations that people feel with apartments is that they are stock-standard. They are repeated, one after the other with no personalisation or taste. With a micro-home, you really can design any style or look you like. The materials will not be overly expensive as it is such a small surface area to cover, and they are easily customisable. This means that building them can follow a template, and it can be executed easily.
Check out some of the great micro homes that have already been designed:
If you’re considering making the switch to a micro home check out these pros and cons of small space living and the three biggest mistakes people make when downsizing.
So what do you think? Could you see yourself living in a micro-home? Would you invest in one? Let us know in the comments below.
Happy house hunting!
The Homely Team