False Conclusions

White Buffalo - The Lancaster

White Buffalo is one of our Micro Unit Projects (Fort Worth)

The news source Mother Jones, whom I enjoy reading a lot, today posted and article “Report: Mansions Getting Bigger, Rental Apartments Getting Smaller” in which Erika Eichelberger notes this is a “metaphor for the lopsided economic recovery” and that “many younger and minority Americans have not experienced any recovery at all, and some are still losing wealth. Hence the need for more shoebox apartments.”

White Buffalo - The Lancaster

White Buffalo Micro Unit

This is a very misleading, and I feel, largely incorrect interpretation of these numbers.  In reality, middle class people of all ages are swarming to rental properties right now because of the housing bust.  Why pump money into a home that is just going to balloon in value in the short term then crash and put you underwater in the long term?  As a result, the cross section of wealthy home builders doing huge projects are a larger slice.  As for the size of apartments, I haven’t seen any evidence that smaller apartments are cheaper, less quality units for lower income people.


White Buffalo Common Room

 In fact, they are a current trend called Microunits which are targeting young professionals early in their career who want to live in the hip, expensive areas of the downtown, but are often not able to afford larger units there.  They aren’t ‘poor’, they are making a specific choice to live in a smaller footprint in order that they can have ready access to the trendy areas of town awash in urban amenities.  Many people, from millenials to empty nesters are enjoying a more transitory lifestyle, living in one location for a year or two, then moving on to another, and appreciating the flexibility that down sizing (in the case of empty nesters) or not upsizing (in the case of millenials) offers.

Microunits are all over the news, here’s a few recent news examples:

‘Micro Unit’ Developers See Big Future

A Closer Look at Micro-Unit Apts

Are ‘Micro-Units’ in Our Future?

Are Micro Units the Future?

Micro-units: A New Trend?

To simply jump to the conclusion that smaller units are for financially disadvantaged people without doing research on the subject is some unfortunate journalism.



06 2013