Micro apartments are often criticised as being too small and like rabbit hutches but a new survey has found that 71% of people in the UK support the concept.
They are often created when commercial buildings are converted into homes and are small as they do not necessarily have to go through the planning process and are aimed at young first time buyers.
The YouGov poll surveyed adults of different ages, incomes, household types and working statuses across the nation to provide a fair representation of public opinion. The survey included a video and a series of still images to illustrate a micro apartment and then asked respondents to indicate, if they had to choose, whether they would support or oppose micro-apartments of this size being built.
The poll found that those below age 35 and 55 plus were very supportive of micro apartments with 74% supporting in both categories, but the most supportive age group was 18 to 24 year olds with 84% in favour.
Income made a big difference to how people voted, with those earning below £40,000 a year more likely to support at 73% than those earning £40,000 or more at 65%.
As it stands, developers are generally refused planning for new build micro-apartment developments because of space issues 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 homeownership. The Government promised a review of space standards in its Housing White Paper published in February, but this review stalled after the housing minister lost his seat following May’s snap election.
‘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,’ said Martin Skinner, chief executive officer of Inspired Homes which commissioned the poll.
He explained that buyers are typically young professionals living in a house or flat share before they purchase and the poll confirms that this group is clearly in favour of smaller, more affordable homes being built.
‘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,’ he added.