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(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)

House is getting smaller

01 March, Il Sole 24 Ore

Just a few square metres with every comfort and lot of attention to detail. This is the new real estate trend, micro-living. This type of properties provides small spaces mainly dedicated to whom has to spend some time in a city for work, study or holiday, combining design and good taste with reasonable prices.

There are plenty of examples throughout Europe, better than the tiny cabins of Hong Kong and more similar to the Parisian studios.

Many investors are betting on this sector that meets the needs of the new generation that prefers renting.

Micro-apartments are maximum 30-40 Sq m large and are starting to become popular also in Italy. “The initiatives are mainly focused on Milan, but there are also projects for other Italian cities, especially in those with big universities with the aim to attract students from other cities or from abroad”, explains Alessandro Ghisolfi, from the Abitareco research centre.

Investire Sgr is evaluating the implementation of a mini-apartment complex.

The phenomenon is more widespread abroad. “In Germany, there are already 25 thousand micro apartments -continues Ghisolfi – and there are several thousands in the pipeline for 2018. The German Federal Government has approved a support programme for the implementation of these buildings investing over 120 million euro in the last two years. The market is developing in Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg”.

In cities such as London, Amsterdam and Berlin, it often happens that tenants prefer locations well served by services and infrastructures over dimensions (significantly reduced compared to standard apartments). “For this reason, if such projects are implemented in anonymous areas in the outskirts of the city they’ll likely to be a failure”, concludes Ghisolfi. Prices depend on location, but they’re reasonable anyway, thanks to the small dimensions. “They often feature common spaces with workspaces, a laundry room, even a common kitchen – stresses Ghisolfi -. Rents are sometimes controlled by the Municipalities, but they’re in most cases lower than the cost to rent a single room for a range comprised between 25% and 50%. In cities such as Berlin and Amsterdam, rents cost on average 400 monthly and they generate gross yearly returns between 4.5% and 5.5%”.

“In a world where short-term rentals are a growing phenomenon and millennials are moving to study or for work, the house has been reduced to the bare minimum – says Mario Breglia, president of Scenari Immobiliari – Nowadays, according to Istat, a family every three is composed of just one person, representing 31.6% of the families in 2016. It’s a number that changes radically the Italian residential market. People are looking for smaller properties in big cities, like studio apartments and one-bedroom apartments, especially in central areas”.

From New York to Seattle, till San Francisco, many properties have dimensions between 25 and 37 Sq m. And furniture has become functional.  “Plainar and Coima Image have implemented in Milan solutions measuring 30 Sq m, highly functional, using innovative materials and featuring class A appliances”, says Breglia.

The Italian residential stock is way far from these dimensions, but demand is changing. In Milan, the properties no bigger than 50 Sq m sold in 2017 were 14% of the total, followed by Turin and Naples with respectively 13% and 17%. While in Rome 11% of the buyers have opted for one-bedroom apartments.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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