Are Shoe-Box Sized Apartments in Your Future?

Dispatches from New York and San Francisco aver that the latest shtick in trendy urban apartment living is the circa 220 square-foot apartment. That’s right. Apartment. See Malia Wollan, San Franciscans Divide Over Pint-Size Apartments, N.Y. Times, Sept. 27, 2012, at p. A19 – click here.

What not too long ago would have been considered tiny, squalid dwellings exploiting the poor who could afford nothing else, are now touted as the wave of the future — the trendy digs of up-and-coming geeks who work in the computer industry around (and increasingly in) San Francisco.

The average rent for a studio apartment in San Francisco is $2,126 (an increase of 22% since 2008) , but these “micro-apartments” will go for $1,200 to $1,500 per month.¬† You can do the comparative math — and make sure you do it from a landlord’s point of view; i.e., how many 220 sq. ft. micro-apartments will fit into the 1000 sq.ft. space now occupied by a real studio apartment.

It seems to us that these figures speak for themselves, and make clear what sort of future is envisioned¬† for America by the “new urbanists” whose spokesmen, as far as we can tell, tend to live in posh suburban homes or luxurious condos in the better parts of cities.

And so much for all the babble about “the bubble” that supposedly caused a collapse in the cost of housing in California, but which actually left housing prices unconscionably high in areas where people want to live, as opposed to foreclosure-ridden wastelands like the Central Valley or the Inland Empire.

In the meantime, businesses are leaving California at the rate of over five per week. As a clever fellow recently put it, if you want the truth, go stand in front of a U-Haul facility and check out which way the loaded trucks and trailers are headed — in or out.

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