With space at a premium in the capital, getting on the property ladder is a challenge. 37 square metres or less – on average the size of a tube carriage – and cheaper than a regular home, micro-homes offer an affordable alternative.
The consumer group Which? found that 7,809 micro-homes were built in 2016, the highest on record, with more than 29,700 built since 2010. This included 2,490 micro-homes built in London in 2016 and 8,460 built since 2010. According to the Land Registry, in 2016, properties in London smaller than 37 sqm cost just £279,000 – less than half the average price of a London home sold in the same period (£580,000).
Since the Government introduced “Permitted Development Rights” (PDR) in 2013 which allow developers to convert offices into residential homes without having to go through planning, the number of new micro-homes has skyrocketed. According to Which?, Liverpool has seen the largest number of new micro-homes followed by Leicester and Birmingham.
In the capital, Croydon witnessed the most micro-homes built since 2013. ITV London’s reporter Carla Prater visited Central Cross, Inspired’s 90-unit micro-apartment scheme in Croydon’s Restaurant Quarter, last week.
Interviewed for ITV London News, Martin Skinner, Inspired’s chief executive, told her: “Times have moved on a little bit, people don’t have so much stuff anymore and really they just want somewhere beautiful that they can afford – and preferably they want to meet their neighbours and build a social network. We provide shared spaces and people get the opportunity to meet their neighbours and build a community.”
Also interviewed was Green Dragon House resident Fraser Moyle. He said: “It was quite a challenge. Micro-flats are small so you have to utilise the space quite well. The residents’ lounge is massive, the roof terrace is massive – so you kind of compensate for having the small personal areas by having the larger communal areas.”
Click below to view the ITV News feature.