I will tell you what to expect while looking for micro lofts in Los Angeles; The land of Hollywood is famous for its designer boutiques, million-dollar mansions, and stunning beaches. Many famous athletes, celebrities, and businessmen live in LA. So, LA has always been a leader in housing innovation, but it is yet to embrace the concept of “micro-units.”
However, developers have finally proposed a sensible solution: micro lofts. Developers believe that these small housing units are the ultimate housing plan for the future. Moreover, they believe it will resolve Los Angeles’ dire need for more affordable housing.
Small units mean lower rents, making expensive locations like downtown LA and Sunday Monica comparatively less expensive. All in all, with thousands of young millennials to house, the micro loft madness has started to take over LA.
Micro lofts come with many pros and cons for renters. We will discuss everything you need to know about micro lofts in Los Angeles and what to expect.
Why Are Micro Lofts Growing in LA?
How do you provide affordable housing to a city facing a shortage of at least a million housing units? How do you become more welcoming to young families and boost transit in the urban centers? The solution is simple: micro lofts.
Did you know that 5,500 micro units were constructed between 2012 and 2015 in Seattle? The average rent in Seattle has doubled from 2012 till now. Being the nations leader in population growth, employment, and housing, average rent increased from $1,750 to $2,620. But thanks to micro living, people can find micro units for as low as $800 in desirable neighborhoods. This is proof that micro lofts are a great option that makes affordable living to the general population possible.
Thus, Los Angeles is finally catching up to other cities when it comes to developing micro units. As more people desire living on their own, micro lofts are becoming more and more popular. Los Angeles is finally getting to fix the demand for affordable housing.
What Are Micro Lofts?
Micro-units are apartments as small as 140 sq. feet and as large as 450 sq. feet. Sometimes a micro loft may be around 500 sq. feet as well. With that being said, there is no defined size for micro-units. They are like tiny studio apartments – very, very tiny studios.
Micro units or lofts can take many different forms. For example, some studio apartments have a share restroom. On the contrary, some have their bathroom, kitchen, and sometimes a washer & dryer. Some come with amenities, while others are bare-bones.
As micro lofts are too small on their own, they are usually part of a housing complex or apartment building. Los Angeles already has tiny apartments in some older rehabbed studio buildings. Some developments have also converted single-room hotels into new micro-apartment buildings. Such buildings have micro-units as small as 250 sq. feet!
Price of Micro Lofts in Los Angeles
As rents rise and demand for space grows, there’s a good chance that the apartment synonymous with small—the studio—will only get smaller. But is the rent getting down too? Well, no.
Let’s face it; LA is one of the most expensive cities in the world. The rents are unreasonably high for an average person, and it keeps getting worse for renters. Thanks to the housing crisis in Los Angeles, the rents keep going up.
A tiny apartment in one of the city’s expensive areas starts around $1800+ a month! Thus, to make housing more affordable micro units are priced somewhere around $800+. In less expensive areas, the rent may be even lower.
5 Needs For Micro Units in Los Angeles
Here are a few main reasons why micro-units are the future of housing in LA:
1. Low Rent and Utility Expenses
Although there are many reasons why people are demanding micro-units, affordable housing remains at the top of the list. Even though there aren’t many micro lofts in LA, it’s not because people don’t want to live in them. Many people would happily live in a smaller space in a central location if they can pay an affordable rent. This allows them to live a comfortable urban life without the stress of heavy rent burdens.
2. To Avoid Roommates
Most people who move to LA choose to live with roommates to split the cost of living. For example, many popular YouTubers and influencers live with each other. Groups of roommates live together so that they divide the expenses. But if given a chance, people will choose to live alone in more affordable alternatives such as micro lofts.
An Urban Land Institute survey from 2015 found that “living alone” was one of the highest priorities for micro-unit tenants. Closing behind was price and location. Micro loft offers all three. Therefore, it’s LA’s best interest to provide comfortable and affordable micro-housing options to its population.
3. Promotes Transit Ridership
The development of micro lofts also promotes urbanization. It can help fill in some of the gaps in the urban fabric and increase transit ridership. Downtown Los Angeles has numerous surface parking lots between 8,000 and 15,000 sq. ft. This can be ideal for micro-unit developments.
Despite their proximity to Metro rail stations, these sites have been devalued by the market. This is because they are very small to accommodate multiple levels of garage parking. Now, there is a huge opportunity to turn these empty sites into affordable micro loft developments.
Eliminating parking from buildings seems impractical, but it would drastically reduce rents. Moreover, it will promote car-free residents who prefer to use public transport for most of their trips.
4. Professionals and Low-Income households
Micro lofts are perfect for working people looking forward to having their own place. Medical students, budding entrepreneurs, struggling artists, or full-time working professionals, would benefit from micro lofts.
People who work 80 hours a week or more only need a house to eat, sleep and freshen up. Instead of investing thousands of dollars into a big house, they prefer a micro-unit. Inexpensive place to sleep, shower, and store their things is all they need.
Similarly, people with low income can see affordable micro-units and still enjoy living in a decent neighborhood.
Short-term leases allows new migrants to explore the city before committing. Instead of committing to a year-long lease, this helps people have a taste of the city. Some people prefer to spend most of their time outside their homes. They would rather spend their free time socializing in the city. This is why migrants prefer moving into micro units to test the waters.
LA is the second-largest city in the US and the most desired one. Thousands of people move to LA in hopes of becoming the next Hollywood superstar or the next tech giant. To keep up with the rising housing demand, LA developers are now investing in micro lofts. So, the future of affordable micro lofts is looking promising for the Los Angeles region.