Will minimum space standards price people out of the market?

News at Eden Harper | 11/12/2014

A proposal to introduce minimum space standards for new-build homes that has won government support could push up the price of starter homes in Brixton and Battersea to even higher levels.

The Royal Institute of British Architects says Britain is becoming a nation of “shoebox homes” as we currently live in Europe’s smallest properties.

The average new-build home in England is just 92% of the recommended minimum size, according to RIBA, which adds that a typical one-bedroom home measures just 46 square metres - four square metres less than the recommended minimum.   

As estate agents in Brixton and Battersea, we would certainly welcome the opportunity to market larger one-bedroom properties, but fear these could be priced out of the reach of some first-time buyers.

Starter homes  

The value of many of the properties in Brixton and Battersea that Eden Harper markets is often based on its floor space. Many young professionals who buy starter homes in London have a lower budget than families already on the property ladder and welcome the opportunity to purchase what RIBA claims are “shoebox homes”.

This gives first-time buyers the opportunity to move up the housing ladder and keeps the market moving.  

If rules about minimum house sizes are introduced, London’s chronic problem of housing supply could get worse.  

To address this issue, we believe building rules and regulations need to be simplified and red tape reduced. Councils could then have the option to introduce new space standards if they so wished. This would save councils and developers a lot of money and in turn allow the right kind of property to be built depending on the area.  

One possible solution could be making use of greenbelt land that is in plentiful supply in or near built-up, urban areas. Such as plan has been floated by the Labour Party, which says it will allow more homes to be built on parts of the greenbelt if the land has little “environmental or amenity value”.

Let the market decide 

When it comes to deciding what types of properties to build it's important that the market is allowed to provide what people want. Of course, low-housing density should be on offer, but there have to be other options available to keep starter homes affordable. 

Here at Eden Harper, we have properties for sale in many shapes and sizes in both Battersea and Brixton. Contact us for more information

Image credit:William Warby (flickr.com)