Will Micro-Flats Take Off In NZ?

micro-flats

The housing crisis continues in New Zealand and attitudes on smaller abodes are evolving. Now there’s a new style of ‘apartment’ called a “micro-flat” and it’s all the rage in the UK and Europe. What are micro-flats and will they also be the housing of the future in our more populated cities like Auckland?

In an article on PropertyTalkBlogs the concept of micro-flats is explained in detail. A private sleeping quarter is complimented by shared facilities including: lounges, dining areas and laundry rooms. There are some micro flats that have their own reception room and may have as many as three bedrooms.

Micro-flats have been given a big boost from local Government in the UK. The deepening shortage of accomodation for renters in cities like London has recently seen the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan commit £25 million to a developer of micro-flats to create more affordable living for first home buyers and renters. There’s a great article on the rise of micro-flats in London in The Big Issue.

So will micro-flats take off in New Zealand? Well, we’ve had the tiny apartments called ‘shoeboxes’ and they’ve had a mixed response over the years. An independent panel reviewing the unitary plan suggested the minimum size of apartments be scrapped however in August 2016 the Auckland Council voted 17-3 against reducing the minimum size of tiny apartments and so they must be at least 35 square metres.

A Google search did not produce any sign of micro-flats development in New Zealand. Auckland Councillors know about them and in an article on newshub.co.nz it quoted a Councillor mentioning the concept that’s taken off in London and Paris. “Councillor Quax said Auckland had a need for micro-apartments in the mold of those in major cities overseas. The minimum sized apartment in London is 19sqm – while in Paris, the smallest are just 9sqm.”

Twelve months later and there’s no move to adopt the micro-flat living in New Zealand but arguably with our housing crisis deepening this new concept of property and lifestyle will happen and interest first home buyers and investors. Just how it will be managed under a rental agreement will be interesting and this Auckland property management firm says they’re keeping a watchful eye on it’s success offshore and say there will be lessons learned from micro-flat renting that will make sure the it’s a success here when it eventually takes off.

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