The term ‘micro-apartment’ is of course a broad one, with good and bad examples. To know what makes for a well-designed space, it helps to first understand what roughly defines this category of property.
Micro-apartments: a brief rundown
The first micro-apartments emerged in large, densely populated cities the likes of New York, Tokyo, and London. Popularised by younger generations willing to give up space for the chance to live in vibrant, accessible locations. The micro-apartment appeal has only grown in the past decade as more people have been attracted to the splendour of compact living, in top urban centres.
Just how compact? The typical micro-apartment is a single room — no larger than between 14-32 m² — that combines a bedroom and dining room with a small kitchenette and bathroom. Part of what makes these apartments work is multi-purpose modular furnishings that are flexible in their form and function.
Beyond this, there are a number of other features one should look for when it comes to maximising the utility and enjoyment of a micro-apartment. Here are a few.
It makes financial sense
In a world of rising inflation, value takes on heightened importance. This is extra challenging for those living in big cities, where high demand for desirable central locations puts a high premium on rent.
For those looking to stay in such an area in the long run, it makes sense to consider purchasing a property. But this is easier said than done in busy metropoles where space and supply are short. This is where the micro-apartment comes in as the ideal solution, particularly for first-time buyers keen to get a foothold on the market, live in a prime location, and turn their rent into savings, which, in turn, leads to wealth creation.
The size of micro-apartments also helps keep living costs down, with less space to maintain and feel the need to fill with furniture — not to mention lower rates and levies.
A lifestyle upgrade
“Like all our developments at Blok, one of the most attractive features of a micro-apartment is how it enables lifestyle. Due to their central location, they work best in the realm of a ‘15min city’ concept. These apartments enable easy access to co-working spaces, restaurants, bars, gyms, and other aspects of vibrant city life that together contribute to a healthier, happier and more socially engaged lifestyle,” says Van Embden.
The appeal of this sort of living also varies across age ranges. For those who chose to move out of the city during the pandemic, having a small apartment is an ideal and economic way to maintain hybrid work arrangements that require days in the office, with the option to still live more remotely. Micro-apartments’ affordability and vibrancy also make them an appealing form of accommodation for young professionals
The convenience factor
For those who work long hours, or lead busy social lives, all they really need in a living space is a place to rest their head (and store stuff). For these individuals, the micro-apartment offers the ideal sort of accommodation, high in convenience and low in maintenance.
The efficient use of storage and multi-purpose furnishings is another useful feature of micro-apartments. This allows homeowners to maximise their use of the space without it feeling cluttered. Certain apartment complexes like the newly developed Six On N in Sea Point, also offer added amenities such as a laundry, as well as communal gyms and even a retail deli on the ground floor.
An eco-friendly way of life
Living in a micro-apartment means owning less, and generally lowering your use of utilities. For these reasons, micro-apartment has come to be seen as an environmentally conscious form of minimalist living, that saves on waste and energy while reducing the need for extraneous material possessions. In addition, micro-apartment buildings tend to produce fewer carbon emissions due to the presence of shared amenities.
A good long-term investment
Micro-apartments can be a good investment as a rental property. Take Cape Town as a prime example. Known for having one of the continent’s most stable residential markets, as well as the extremely high demand for accommodation, Cape Town is the ideal sort of place to consider investing in a micro-apartment for its rental income potential.