Studio apartments hit the heights as buyers look for more affordability
Thu 04 Apr 2013
Gone are the days of the grotty bedsit, studio apartments are becoming quite trendy.
Bijou homes are popping up in prime central areas of London and in some areas garages are even being converted into studios
For example, London-based agency Marsh & Parsons is sellinga flat in ultra-desirable Holland park, where Simon Cowell, Jeremy Clarkson and Brian May own homes, for a relatively modest 395,000.
The average house price in this area is just under 1.5million so what makes this property so cheap in comparison? Well it measures just413 sq ft - in other words, its a studio.
Increasingly, Brits are foregoing space for these smaller proportioned homes because they offer better affordability and for, who live in expensive areas of the country like Surrey, they are the only way to get on the property ladder.
"The cost of land has never been so high, so its understandable that people are changing their views on what constitutes a home," James Sharpin, director at Seymours in Guildford, said. "The continual demand for properties will only continue to push up prices so the choices for those looking to get their foot on the property ladder are becoming more and more limited.
"We're seeing an increasing number of smaller properties that look fantastic on the market. As they say, 'home is what you make it'.
"Surrey's close proximity to london means that prices will always be high and if very small properties represent an entry point on the property ladder then this is great news for first-time buyers."
Studios with good storage space or mezzanine sleeping areas are particularly popular and internal folding doors shutting away a kitchen are a good idea as dirty dishes can be hidden away.
According to Tony Jamieson, from Clarke Gammon Wellers, the trend of converting small spaces into accommodation is in fact not at all that new to Surrey.
"I sold a couple of garages in Millmead, Guildford a couple of years ago which were subsequently converted into studio appartments and then sold off," he said. "This trend will definitely continue, particularly in the light of new planning guidelines regarding the change of use from commercial premises will be able to be converted to suit residential purposes, with a lot being aimed at the first time buyer market."
Studio apartments can provide excellent value for money and prove very appealing for both first time buyers, investors and for business people who want a place to lay their head during the week after a long day at the office.
Thankfully they are no longer just a bed in a room with a sink, studios are cleverly designed to offer separate living and cooking spaces, which can make for enjoyable living.
The studios at New Central in Woking, which start at 140,000, for example enjoy a living and kitchen area almost as big as that of a one-bed apartment and the bedroom area can easily be screened off to seperate living and sleeping accommodation.
Lynnette St Quintin, sales director for Barratt Southern Counties, the firm which built the development, said: "Our studios have proven proven extremely popular with purchasers thanks to their clever use of space and the layout of these unique properties.
"Their contemporary design, in addition to an excellent location right next to the train station, make the studios an appealing choice for those buyers who are looking for a stylish property within an easy commute of London.
"Those buying a studio at New Central have the added bonus of being able to use the on-site gym.