Property: A compact space with all mod cons

Studio flats are back in demand - provided they're in the right location.

If anyone had asked an estate agent to sell a studio or one-bedroom flat over the last two or three years, they would have been met with a sigh of resignation if not a look of horror. But now the small unit is back - if recent demand is anything to go by.

In the Eighties' boom, anyone wanting to clamber on to the property ladder, but who didn't have much money, bought a studio or one bedder. So builders, with pound signs in their eyes, squeezed as many of these as they could into their properties, regardless of where the properties were. When the market turned, these flats became impossible to sell. With falling prices, first-time buyers could afford to buy larger, two-bedroom flats, leap-frogging the small units.

"Studios and one-bedders were a dead market," says Simon Agace of Winkworth. "But not any more. In areas just outside central London - Kennington, Battersea, Clapham, Chalk Farm - first-time buyers are looking at these, tempted on to the property ladder by all the mortgage deals on offer."

Location and condition, though, are of prime importance. Apartments in prime positions are being snapped up. However, eight-year-old well- worn studios are still sticking, unless they are newly done up. People might be buying a compact space, but they still want all the mod cons.

"Interest in good studio flats has definitely increased over the past few months" says James Gubbins of Dauntons in Pimlico, London SW1. "Last year buyers were interested only in one- and two-bedroom flats but now they appear to be keen to get into this market at whatever level they can afford". Dauntons is currently selling a studio flat with separate kitchen and bathroom in Cambridge Street, London SWl for pounds 65,000.

According to Savills' research department, one-bedroom flats in central London have out-performed all other property over the last 10 years in terms of rental returns, producing a 15.4 per cent gross return compared with 9.7 per cent for a four-bedroom flat.

Symphony Court, at Brindleyplace in the centre of Birmingham, is a triangular site sandwiched in-between the Birmingham Canal, Brindley Loop Canal and Sheepcote Street. A third of the 143 homes are one-bedroom flats and these have outsold all the other types of properties.

For one buyer, Andrew Morris, a 25-year-old chartered accountant, convenience is of prime importance. It now takes him five minutes to walk to work. "I've gained about two hours every day," he says. "I was living at home before and preferred to buy a smaller new flat, rather than a larger older one, because I like the luxuries of life and there is far less hassle with a new property. I also like the security of the development. It didn't make sense for me to rent, but I suppose that's the accountant in me."

Meanwhile in London, the 24 one-bedroom flats at Prospect Quay - a new development of 67 apartments beside the Thames at Wandsworth - sold quicker than anything else. And at County Hall,Galliard Homes has been converting two blocks into varying sized flats. At the initial launch of 120 flats last October, half were one-bedroom flats and the whole lot sold in one weekend. Some sold to parents buying for their children, others as pied- a-terres. Again, the convenience factor counted for a great deal. The next phase of 117 flats is being launched on 13 April - and because of the success of the one-bedders before, more of these have been built than originally planned. Prices will range from pounds 99,000 to pounds 155,000.

Berkeley Homes sold all its one-bedroom flats prior to construction at Riverside Plaza, a Battersea development overlooking the Thames - and 25 per cent of its new development in Islington, north London being built in conjunction with Manhattan Loft Corporation in Islington will be one- bedders. "City professionals and solicitors love this area and this is what the they want. One-bedroom flats are being bought for the lifestyle" says Paul Uallone, Berkeley Homes Kent.

The smaller flats are popular, too, in Scotland. CALA Homes is including one-bedroom flats for the first time in its sites in Edinburgh and Glasgow. "They are in great demand" says Alan Downie, chairman of CALA Homes Scotland "and we definitely intend to continue broadening our range in this way."

But remember, if you do buy a studio or one-bedroom flat, it must be in the right location to be able to sell it again.

Berkeley Homes Kent, 01959 564644; CALA Homes, 01324 638889; Dauntons, 0171-834 8000; Galliard Homes, 0181-508 8881; Prospect Quay from Winkworth, 0181-788 9295; Symphony Court sales centre, 0121-643 7900.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future