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Interest in micro-apartments booming in Austin, real estate agent says

Some come as small as 345 square feet.

AUSTIN, Texas — Would you sacrifice space if it meant cheaper rent? That's what some people in Austin are already doing – and interest in the idea keeps growing.

In Austin, there are currently about a handful of micro-apartment communities either in the process of being built or already on the market.

Kaylee Ellis, a lead agent at Smart City Locating in Austin, told KVUE demand for these smaller, cheaper apartments is booming.

"I think we're taking notes from Seattle and also Tokyo and Rome 'cause they're also a couple of places that started micro-units," Ellis said. "It's actually becoming more of a popular thing within the recent months."


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One of her agency's clients is Indie Apartments off of East Sixth Street in East Austin. The 139-unit community was built in 2018.

The smallest micro-apartment she saw there was 345 square feet. She leased it for $1,500. Compare that with bigger one-bedroom apartments closer to the downtown area that go for $1,750 to $2,500.

"A lot of people we are putting in there are people who are traveling and they're not so much in their apartments a lot, so why spend the extra $400 to not be there?" Ellis said.

It's part of a growing trend of owning fewer things and getting more bang for your buck, Ellis said.

"I do think people are getting more minimalist. They're getting more, 'I don't need the big couch. I don't need all of the decorations. I just need a place to sleep, I need a bathroom and I need a kitchen,'" she said.

But it's also about location and being closer to the amenities people love to explore. 

"The biggest thing we hear is that location is big for people and in Austin, commute to work is huge," Ellis said. "As we all know, traffic is quite a headache here. People want to be close to work but at the same time, they still want to be close to what they do on the weekends."

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