We are all well-aware of the current micro-apartment trend. Young people (myself included) now push marriage for later and are living alone longer than previous generations. There is therefore a need for apartments that are suited to solo-living.
In the more cosmopolitan cities such as Hongkong and Tokyo, rents are so expensive and wages are so low that low-income workers resort to living in so-called coffin apartments located in sky-high buildings. Coffin apartments, as their name suggests, are coffin-like apartments that are big enough to fit a person sitting up in bed.
In Hongkong, the living conditions in these coffin apartments are so bad that the beds are usually filled with bed bugs. The “capsule apartment” is essentially the other half of a double-decker bed, enclosed in metal wire to give a modicum of “privacy.” There is no adequate ventilation. In the summer, the occupant risks heat stroke while managing with only an electric-fan.
To my horror, it appears that these capsule apartments / coffin apartments have now arrived in the Philippines. They capitalize on their centralized location, being walking distance to the central business district in Makati, as well as on their affordability.
From a business owner’s point of view, these capsule apartments will certainly make you more profit, for less square meter of space! At an average rent of PhP 4,000.00 for a mere bed space with zero infrastructure cost for individual ventilation, the lessor makes a killing. Note that at PhP 9,000.00, one can already get a decent studio apartment in Makati. So yeah, these capsule apartments are definitely over-priced, for their size.
As a former renter, these capsule apartments may be viewed both positively and negatively, depending on how much a worker earns. Unknown to many, while Makati yuppies look and dress so well, not all of them make a lot of money. According to a jobstreet report , the average salary in Makati is PhP 20,000.00. That’s not a lot, if you live in one of the most costly cities in the country.
Personally, I wouldn’t risk my mental and physical health by living in one of these capsule apartments. However, I was fortunate that my monthly income allowed me to rent a decent apartment. Because not everyone is blessed with a better than average monthly income, let’s take the perspective of the average PhP 20,000.00 monthly-salaried Makati worker.
Ideally, rent should be no more than 25% of your net monthly pay. For the average person, renting these capsule apartments for PhP 4,000.00 is financially feasible. At such cost, rent constitutes only 20% of the monthly pay.
The centralized location of the capsule apartment allows the average worker to either walk to work or reduce spending on transportation. A great location allows for other intangible benefits such as close proximity to food places, laundry shops and malls.
On the flipside, I can only speculate on the adverse psychological effects of living in such enclosed quarters. The capsule apartments currently advertised in the Philippines do not appear to have adequate ventilation at all.
For the short term, renting these capsule apartments may be good for the budget and may allow the average worker to save money. Let’s hope the money saved is placed towards earning assets and not merely on worthless goods or on dining out.
Would you live in these capsule apartments?
20 something lawyer