Is it really affordable?

Many renters in the metropolitan areas want to live in the big city or as close to it as possible but this urban living can come with a hefty price tag. A majority of residential high-rises are cramming in all kinds of luxuries such as pet, dry cleaning, and concierge services; package lockers and bike spas, where bikes can be parked, washed, and maintained. Rooftop decks and terraces are now a must have for both mid and high-rise buildings. These terraces include lounge seating, sonic sound systems, big screen TVs, kitchens with barbeque grills and pizza ovens, sometimes you can even hangout in cabanas. All of the amenities give renters a hotel and resort like feel. Everyone wants it all these days, so the more amenities a building has the more desirable it becomes.
High Rises NYC
For each of these buildings, a set number of units are labeled affordable but with a price tag of say $2,000 per month for a studio apartment, is it really affordable? Why can’t we build residential units that the average person could afford not the one-percenters? One factor contributing to the escalating costs is the current price of land. In order for developers to make a profit on their investment, they have to build for luxury. To bring down the cost of a single unit and to keep the enticement factor of amenities, developers are turning to building smaller sized units. Labeled as micro-units, they offer the minimalist life style, as all of your other needs are wrapped into the amenity offerings found in the rest of the building. One owner in New York City offers renters use of facilities at all of their apartment buildings throughout the city.

Micro Units

Carmel Place – NYC

Another way to bring down the cost is to build further outside the city but remain within a mile of public transportation. If you can’t live within walking distance of work then the next best is to live within walking distance of public transportation. These transit-oriented developments can provide more square-footage being located farther outside the city. The buildings are often mixed-use providing quick access to shops and restaurants just outside your door. This fosters a sense of community, a mini-town within a larger suburban landscape. It’s also low-maintenance living without being in an urban setting, escape to the suburbs without having to maintain a house or yard or own a car.

While housing costs will probably only continue to rise in the foreseeable future, the topic of creating affordable options for renters is also growing. As the largest age group of 25-35 year olds begin to settle down, demand for urban housing and amenities will begin to slow. Though we don’t know what exactly will happen with housing, the future is looking more affordable.

For more information on the trend of luxury high rises check out these articles:
Boston on the Rise: the City’s Tallest Buildings Now Under Construction
Why 2016 Will Be The Manhattan Skyline’s Biggest Year Ever

For more information about the micro-unit alternative, check out these articles:
Micro-Units: Fad or Future?
High-Tech Millennial Lifestyle Inspires Micro Apartment Boom
Can Micro-Units Be Livable?

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