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Micro Living: One Solution to the Housing Crisis

Posted 04/04/2018

by Lorna O'Carroll

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Gone are the days of owning ‘things’. Millennials own Kindles not books, they watch Netflix not DVDs, and they listen to Spotify not CDs. Our requirement for space has decreased, as new generations spend their disposable income on experiences instead of material goods.

This isn’t just hearsay. Research conducted by Savills last year highlighted that the habits of Londoners are changing; especially when looking at their expectations from their workplaces, homes and neighbourhoods. In essence, the places we live need to reflect the ‘London way of life’.

However, the inability to afford single living within the City has meant that it has become the norm for the younger generation to live with friends in shared houses in the Private Rented Sector. Whilst some thrive in this environment, others wish for their own space – largely unaffordable in the wider housing market.

A potential solution to this problem could be smaller-sized units. Micro living (units of less than 37sq.m) is on the rise, with typical buildings offering an extensive range of amenities and activities, as well as private space. Yet micro homes still face the misconception that they provide a low quality of life, despite the emergence of well-designed compact homes.

More importantly, some of these misconceptions simply do not reflect renters’ priorities. As we outlined in the article published by LOFT Interiors recently, what appears clear from the outset is that the quality of space is a greater priority than merely square footage. Tenants will forego floorspace in return for a more comprehensive offering on facilities and services within the wider building block. Good management of services and spaces is becoming more critical factor in the decision-making of those renting. In this respect, the Build-to-Rent sector has come into its own, providing a well-managed service.

The idea of micro homes as a response to the housing crisis is increasingly viewed by politicians and developers as an appropriate option that encourages young people to move back into the core of central London and its surrounding areas. So, why not build housing that is well managed, full of amenities and recognises what future generations want from housing?

Download your free copy here of our article in which we examine the concept of micro-living in more detail: Micro Living One Solution to the Housing Crisis?