House building giant Barratt has revealed what it claims to be the future of UK housing '� a 37 sq metre one-bedroom apartment for sale at �285,000.
The 160 initial '�Smrt' homes are within the company's huge Eastman Village development in Harrow, North London where eventually some 2,000 people will live.
But while the properties are being aimed at 20 and 30-something first time buyers initially outside of the government's Help to Buy scheme, Barratt has told LandlordZONE that they are also attractive to buy-to-let investors '� although it says landlords are not their target market.
The one-bedroom apartments, which have been carefully laid out to look as spacious as 37 sq metres can be, and have high-end fixtures and fittings, offer gross returns of 6.7%. This is based on an annual rent of �19,200 or �1,600 a month, although Barratt says its figures suggest yields of up to 5% for the overall site.
By comparison, standard one-bedroom apartments at Eastman Village are 50.7 sq metres but start at �337,000.
Barratt London says the Smrt apartments, which are officially launching on September 11, are its first endeavour to offer both affordability and quality within a micro home, a concept it is looking to introduce at other sites.
The company says the only way to offer affordable homes in expensive cities like London is to make them small but cleverly designed.
Its Smrt properties are the minimum required by law '� the London space standard for a couple living in a one-bedroom, single-storey property without a bath is 37 sq metres.
Nevertheless, each property has a balcony, access to a communal courtyard garden, bedroom (pictured), utility cupboard, separate bathroom with shower and a kitchen/diner/lounge (main pic) as well as access to a nearby communal gym.
There are no covenants within the Eastman Village development preventing properties being rented out by their owners, although short-lets Airbnb rentals are banned.
The properties are owned on a 999-year lease and owners are automatically given membership of the site's management committee body.