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50% of New York City’s population is estimated to be single. Here’s what that means for housing.

Here in Toronto there’s a push for more family-sized apartments. That’s what the planners want to hear.

Because the city has been trying to encourage developers to build more of them for years, but the challenge has always been that they didn’t sell or that they took a long time to sell. The market wasn’t ready.

But as I discussed earlier this week, that is starting to change. I think Toronto is reaching a tipping point where low-rise housing has simply become too expensive and people are starting to look to alternatives, mostly at the mid-rise scale.

It’s interesting though that something of the opposite appears to be happening in New York. I don’t know enough about the New York new construction market to really comment on overall unit mixes and sizes, but there definitely seems to be a push to create more affordable micro-units.

Curbed published this last October:

“…a report currently under public review, called Zoning for Quality and Affordability, recommends relaxing density caps and eliminating the 400-square-foot minimum for studio apartments, thereby creating more housing for single people. Almost 50 percent of the city’s population is estimated to be single, but only seven percent of the housing stock is studios.”

And just recently, New York completed its first all-micro-unit apartment building called Carmel Place. Rents start at $2,650 per month for a 265 square foot apartment. 

As a point of reference, that works out to be $10 per square foot per month and more than 3x the highest rents you could reasonably achieve in the more desirable areas of Toronto, today.

The model suite is 302 square feet and looks like this:

All of the above photos are via Curbed.

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