ULI Multifamily Product Councils Publish New Research about Micro Units

The Macro View on Micro Units report was published by the ULI Multifamily Product Councils (Blue, Bronze, Gold, & Silver flights) with funding from the ULI Foundation.

The Macro View on Micro Units report was published by the ULI Multifamily Product Councils (Blue, Bronze, Gold, & Silver flights) with funding from the ULI Foundation.

In fall 2013, the Urban Land Institute Multifamily Housing Councils were awarded a ULI Foundation research grant to evaluate from multiple perspectives the market performance and market acceptance of micro and small units. These very small (by traditional standards) apartments have been offered or are being considered in urban and urbanizing locales, particularly high-density, expensive metropolitan markets such as Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The Macro View on Micro Units explores this renewed trend in the United States and seeks to answer the following key questions:

  • What exactly is a micro unit?
  • How have smaller and micro-unit rental apartments performed in the marketplace compared with larger, more conventional apartments?
  • Does the higher per square foot rent justify the higher construction cost?
  • What are some of the examples across the country where micro units have been successfully developed and operated?
  • What are the critical success factors and lessons learned from developers, owners, operators, and design professionals that have experience with this new breed of micro-unit community?
  • What has been the experience of residents who have actually lived in one of these tiny apartments, what do they like and dislike, and what motivated them to consider a micro unit in the first place?
  • What would motivate potential renters of conventional apartments to live in a smaller unit?
  • Based on a compilation of all of the above, what is the likely future for micro units; is this a passing fad or a growing trend?

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