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The rise of London's micro houses

Posted on 2015-02-17

The rise of small, compact homes in central London is creating more opportunity for young professionals to move to the capital and engage with London businesses. Ranging from studio flats to micro houses, the properties are targeted primarily at young professionals between the ages of 20 and 39. The hope is that this might create more affordable levels of rent which could allow younger workers to move to London without the need to live in shared accommodation.

Demand continues to outstrip supply

At present, the number of people moving to the capital is outpacing the level of construction; this has driven the average rent figure for new tenancies up to £1,410 in Greater London in the three months to January 2015 according to the HomeLet Rental Index. As a result, many people, including young professionals struggle to make the move to London affordable, with some priced out of the market entirely.

The Department for Communities and Local Government states that 20,000 residential homes were built in London, from 2013-2014. However, this hasn’t met the demand for the 52,000 households moving to the city during that time.Furthermore, a report published by the Greater London Authority shows that, although the building of new homes has risen to the rate of 20,000 per year during the past decade, it still remains lower than in the 1960s. Due to this, it’s felt that micro houses will help to fill a gap in the market. 

Support for micro houses from the Mayor of London

The Collective, a new start-up company in London, has helped place 350 low-earning people in 20 revamped buildings, as part of its drive towards micro housed accommodation. The types of properties available vary but, generally speaking, they’re around 15-20 square meters and some have small kitchenettes; prices range between £190 to £250 per week, depending on the size of the property available and the on-site amenities.

The Collective, however, isn’t the only company offering micro houses and, following trends elsewhere in the world, there’s been a recent surge across the capital. For example, property developer Pocket Living attracted £21.7 million from London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Housing Covenant Fund. With the rise of micro houses now receiving government backing, they look likely to be on the scene for the foreseeable future.

In summary, it appears as though, if you’re looking for a start in London as a young professional, micro houses could be the way to go. Explore the properties from Pocket Living and The Collective to find out more and see if a micro house sounds like it might be right for you.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Figures from the HomeLet Rental Index unless otherwise stated.
All figures correct as of 04/02/2015

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