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Demand For Micro Homes Was Falling, Government Just Cut Off The Supply

Peter Hemple looks at how the pandemic has transformed the way we want to live

Just a year ago, micro homes seemed like a great idea, allowing tenants to save on rent at the expense of internal space and if they wanted some fresh air, well they just had to go for a walk in a local park. However, as with many sectors of the property market, the pandemic has sent shockwaves through the micro homes industry.

According to recent research conducted by the London School of Economics and affordable housing developer Pocket Living, young Londoners living in shared properties during lockdown had on average of just 9.3sqm of personal space to themselves, which is about the size of a small garage. The research also found that 37% of Londoners in house shares were both working and sleeping in their bedroom. At the height of lockdown when reasons to leave the house were severely restricted, that amounted to at least 16 hours spent in a room not much bigger than a prison cell.

If you are heavily invested in the micro-homes sector (in the UK, a micro property has no strict definition but usually refers to properties with a floor area below 37sqm, which is the minimum size allowed for a newly built flat), or if your property portfolio consists of very small studio flats in dimly-lit basements or lofts across London, you will undoubtedly have cause for concern now that the feedback from estate agents is coming in loud and clear post-lockdown – buyers and tenants want more space.
Price of homes with gardens hits a four-year high
While the UK property market was enjoying a mini-boom this summer, London did not, according to the latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The survey predicts that demand for homes with gardens is set to rise as the pandemic reshapes buyers’ preferences, adding that there has been strong market activity in every region except London.

In August, 83% of surveyors in the UK anticipated demand increasing for homes with gardens over the next two years, and more than two in three surveyors expected an increase in desirability of properties with more private and less communal outside space.

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