A YouGov poll by Inspired Homes revealed that 71% of British adults support the development of 31m2 plus micro-apartments.
The poll found that those aged under 35 and over 55 were very supportive of micro-apartments, with 74% supporting in both categories. However, the most supportive age group was 18-24 year olds (84%). Those with children (73%) were more likely to support than those without children (69%), while those living with friends or housemates (80%) were the keenest supporters. Income made a big difference to how people voted, with those earning below £40,000 p.a. far more likely to support (73%) than those earning £40,000 p.a. or more (65%).
31m2 micro-apartments are around 40% smaller than the Government’s nationally prescribed space standard, which specifies that one-bedroom apartments should be no smaller than 50m2. Apartments of this size are typically 20% more affordable than standard sized new-build apartments, helping those priced out of the market to get a foot on the property ladder.
Martin Skinner, Chief Executive Officer at Inspired Homes, said: “The poll shows that people are overwhelmingly in favour of allowing micro-apartments to be built. It is even more conclusive given that respondents were from all over the country and different walks of life. We knew micro-apartments were popular with first-time buyers, but the results indicate that they also appeal to downsizers.
“There is a dwindling supply of office buildings to convert and a number of local authorities have exempted themselves from Permitted Development rights. We hope that the ‘micro’ question has now been answered and urge the Government to rethink its policy on space standards so more people have the opportunity to get onto the housing ladder.”
As it stands, developers are refused planning for new-build micro-apartment developments because of the space standard and can only build them by converting existing buildings. Since office-to-residential Permitted Development rights were introduced in 2013, thousands of micro-apartments have been delivered across the country, providing a more affordable route to home ownership.