How many square feet does the average person need to live?


How many Square Feet is enough?

I was reading this article about the small apartments in Hong Kong’s Kowloon area. Nano flats, they call them (or micro-apartments). Some units are smaller than a regular sized parking spot — that’s about 140 square feet! But this isn’t a question of whether a person (or a couple) could live in just over 100 square feet. We know we can do that. I just got back from a road trip to Nashville where my wife and I lived for ten days in about 70 square feet. 

For the record, according to this website, the average person needs 100-400 square feet. I personally feel that the perfect sized house for a family of four is 2400 square feet — that’s loads of space especially considering that the basement is not included in that number.

As far as I’m concerned., I actually love small spaces. These days they make so much sense. All I need in my laptop and a few changes of clothes and I am good to go. Gone are the days where we ‘need’ two car garages and basement media rooms. Sure those things are nice to have but we don’t ‘need’ them, do we? I have so much room in my current home that is nearly never used, and so much stuff that is just stored for potential future use that will probably never come. 

Prices move more for small units

Anyway, the learning from the article was this —>  History suggests small apartments tend to suffer more when there are price adjustments. The cost for units measuring less than 430 square feet dropped 12 percent during the 2015-2016 price correction versus a 9 percent dip for those measuring 750 to 1050 square feet. 

People given the choice prefer bigger units

Nothing wasted

Hong Kong is really amazing. We were there for about a week last year and as always we stayed in airbnbs. The last one we stayed in was in Lohas Park — a humongous new high rise community at the end of one of the metro lines. Up on the 65th floor of a 120 floor building, our two bedroom unit was not more than 500 square feet. How do they fit two bedrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen into such a small space? There is nothing wasted, no storage space, exactly what you need and nothing more. That’s empowering! That’s the kind of place where if you buy a new t-shirt, you better throw an old one away.