“Vancouver’s restrictions on minimum building sizes are quite sad because so many people want these things,” said Jon Stovell, president of Reliance Properties, which has sold-out micro-suite projects in Surrey and Victoria. “You talk to people on the street and they get it. They’d buy them in a minute. Tiny apartments would alleviate the affordability crisis, he said, with prices starting at $225,000 at a time when the average condo in Vancouver is roughly $550,000, up 40 per cent in the last three years.”
A micro-suite is a tiny apartment in the 250 to 300 square foot range-that is a space ten feet wide and twenty-five feet long. Vancouver planners will review the standard, and currently are uncomfortable with permitting strata units under 400 square feet. The City’s planning department does undertake post occupancy surveys to assess residents’ attitudes about small spaces and to ensure that the spaces are livable.
Developers argue that the multi-functionality of small spaces will mean that there are cost savings, and small places with smaller price tags are the way to go. There are also some studies that are suggesting that living in small spaces is detrimental to mental and physical health, without the many steps and tasks that are part of every day living.
The video below of a 225 square foot designer’s apartment in New York City. Should these small size condos be allowed? Or are these micro-suites just squishing the property owner dream?