Who is the Micro-Apartment Renter?

Who would be most likely to embrace a 400 sq. ft. living space? Recent college graduates, young professionals and middle-aged baby boomers, according to a recent report published by apartment management research company Software Advice.

Micro-apartments are a relatively new and controversial phenomenon mostly clustered in large cities. The two main reasons renters would consider a micro-apartment are to save money and live in a desirable location, the report indicated. The youngest group of renters, for example, consists mainly of college students trying to get the best value for their dollar and recent graduates getting started in the professional world. Middle-aged renters, on the other hand, are often close to retirement and looking to downsize their living arrangements. Both groups more often than not have no children.

"In Boston, micro-apartments seem to be clustered in the Innovation District. About 350 have been approved in that area," said Taylor Short, market researcher for Software Advice. 

Likelihood to Consider a Micro-Apartment, by Age

Preferred Nearby Amenities

Boston does have its fair share of micro-apartments, which were once considered the solution to the city's chronic housing shortage and astronomical living costs. But we are no New York City, which has embraced the idea of maximizing minimal square footage. Boston simply does not have the same density, Short said. We have more space to grow and expand, so trading space for location doesn't work as we come across the biggest problem, affordability. Some of the first micro-units to hit the market commanded regular-sized rents of $1,700 a month or more, reported the Boston Globe.

"If you have the money to rent something like that, you might as well rent a little farther from the city and get more space," Short said. "These kinds of apartments are going to find their niche in a specific location in a specific city. That's where they're going to be able to find renters, in my view."

Preferred Channel for Researching, by Age

Other key findings from the report indicated most potential micro-apartment renters would use online research sources. Fifty percent said they would use primarily ratings and reviews sites like Apartments.com or Zillow, and 40 percent would use the apartment's own website. Only 10 percent would turn to the social media to research a micro-apartment.

For more micro-apartment renters' trends and preferences, read the full report here or view the slideshow below.

Software Advice IndustryView: What Renters Want in Micro Apartments from Software Advice.

Featured images courtesy of Software Advice.