The Real Deal New York

In the most expensive housing market on earth, demand for micro-apartments is on the rise

Sky-high prices and smaller families have buyers snapping up homes smaller than 300 sf
August 13, 2018 09:30AM

Hong Kong micro apartments (Credit: iStock)

Rising home prices in Hong Kong have buyers turning to tiny apartments.

The world’s least-affordable housing market saw transaction volumes for residential units no bigger than 300 square feet jump 52 percent during the first eight months of the year compared to the same time in 2017, according to data from Picacorp Properties cited by Bloomberg.

Those 300-square-foot spaces are smaller than two parking spaces, and now make up 12.4 percent of total apartment sales in Hong Kong, up from 9.3 percent last year.

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“The rise in property prices has made it difficult for people with less purchasing power to buy a home,” said Buggle Lau, chief analyst at Midland Realty. “So potential home buyers look for low lump-sum prices rather than a low price-per-square foot.”

Home prices in Hong Kong climbed 14 percent this year, the Centaline Property Centa-City Leading Index shows.

Shrinking family sizes are also contributing to the rising popularity of tiny homes, according to Centaline Property senior research director Wong Leung-Sing.

“The number of one-person families in Hong Kong has been growing rapidly,” he said. “For those who live alone, why do they need that much space?”

Here in New York City, the minimum size of an apartment is 400 square feet. There are exceptions, though, such as Carmel Place on East 27th Street, which opened as the city’s first micro-unit apartment building in 2016. [Bloomberg] – Rich Bockmann