In a country where housing shortages are rife across numerous price bands, micro-apartments are a new trend which developers like Cape Town’s Blok are embracing.
Micro-apartments: a brief rundown
Where did this concept come from? The first micro-apartments emerged in large, densely populated cities including New York, Tokyo, and London. They were popularised by young professionals who were prepared to give up space for the chance to live in vibrant, accessible locations. The micro-apartment appeal has grown in the past decade. People buy micro-apartments with the intention of using them as a “lock-up and go”.
A typical micro-apartment is a single room, sized between 14m² and 32 m². It combines a bedroom and dining room with a small kitchenette and bathroom. Blok which develops apartments in Sea Point, Cape Town and surrounds, has embraced the micro-apartment.
Blok founder, Jacques van Embden explains that there are a bunch of features one should look for when it comes to maximising the utility of a micro-apartment.
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.
Some people will try to buy apartments and then live in long-term. This is where the micro-apartment comes in as an often affordable option for first time buyers.
The size of micro-apartments helps to keep living costs down, with less space to maintain and feel the need to fill with furniture, as well as 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, van Embden explains.
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. 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. There are storage spaces under the beds in Blok’s apartments, for example. 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 a retail deli on the ground floor.
A good long-term investment
Micro-apartments can be a good investment as a rental property, especially in the likes of Cape Town where demand for accommodation is high but young professionals struggle with affordability.