Close quarters: Smaller apartments may be coming to NYC

Faced with a historically competitive rental market and an increase in people living alone, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is suggesting something that many Manhattan renters have been fearing: smaller apartments. If the thought of living in space smaller than some ATM booths fills you with dread, you might consider buying one of the homes for sale in New York, NY, as an alternative.

During a recent tour of a model of one of these "micro-units," Bloomberg detailed how the small, single-room spaces could be a good idea for the city and its residents.

"We want people to come here - to start out, start their careers here, start their families here - and if you don't have the kind of housing that they need, they can't do that," Bloomberg said, the New York Post reports.

In Bloomberg's vision, the units would be between 275 and 300 square feet, which is illegal under current building codes, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg said he would be willing to change this law if it would help the city meet the demand for one-bedroom apartments. Presently, there are 1.8 million one- and two-person households and only one million studio and one-bedroom units, Business Insider reports.

With the demand among renters reaching unprecedented heights, the market for buyers of full-sized homes might become more attractive.

"Rents are just so high right now that for a lot of people it doesn't make sense," Sofia Song, a local real estate expert, told Bloomberg Businessweek. "A lot of people are saying, 'You know what? For this amount of money I can probably buy something."

As apartments in the city shrink and rents remain high, people considering buying one of the houses for sale in New York, NY, might find this philosophy increasingly appealing.