Wednesday, September 26The Voice of London

London Housing Crisis: Does Size Really Matter?

Being a young singleton is hard enough without trying to navigate London’s property ladder. The probability of owning a house in the country’s capital is growing increasingly more unlikely with mortgages sitting at a hefty £373,000. With 20 per cent of that being required up front, many of us are left with litt

Credit: Alice Marshall

le to no hope of ever becoming homeowners.

Words: Alice Marshall, Subeditor: Keziah Leary

What’s worse — because of course it gets worse — is that we’re looking to lose at least an arm and a leg renting a one bedroom flat. And the icing on the cake? It’s probably not even wide enough to do the splits in (if we ever thought we might like to do that anyway).

But all is not lost. We’re posing the question men and women alike have been asking themselves for years: does size really matter? Is it the be all and end all? Does ‘big’ really only do the trick?

We decided to scour housing agencies to pinpoint what might seem like a less than desirable accommodation to live in.

Credit: Alice Marshall

Built on the side of a semi detached house in north London, the room — sorry, ‘studio flat’ — we decided to apply our question to appeared to be nothing but a corridor. If the images on the website were anything to go by, anyway. Our hopes were by no means lifted when we rang up the agency about the £850pcm flat and were asked, “Is it just you looking to rent? Yeah, just wanted to check, because it is quite small.”

So it definitely doesn’t possess Tardis qualities then, no?

It was safe to say we weren’t holding out on the place being a success story. We were almost certain we were going to prove that size most certainly does matter.

However, after a few delays on a particularly chilly Monday morning, we were guided into the — granted — quite confined quarters of the studio flat. But, in a surprising turn of events, the place was actually quite, well, nice. The cluttered images we had seen online did not ring true to the sleek, modern studio flat that we were shown around.

Credit: Alice Marshall

Yes, the layout was more or less a corridor with a ‘bedroom’ at the front and the kitchen at the back; with a door in the middle to a shower room. You would probably find yourself, more often than not, eating yo

ur meals sitting on the edge of your bed, desperately trying not to get stains on your fresh linen. And, okay, the estate agent was definitely right that it is more or less fit for just the one person, unless you’re looking to live literally on top of someone, of course.

But the studio flat was clean and chic. There was almost something cosy about the smallness of the place. With a wardrobe and other storage facilities, and everything — bills, council tax and wifi – snuggly included in the monthly rent, it genuinely wasn’t that bad. In fact, it seemed ideal for a young twenty-something who’s just starting out on their chosen career path.

Is it worth the £850pcm price tag? Well, probably not. But it is affordable and, in the grand ol’ context of London, that’s all you can really ask for.

Besides, someone must have seen its appeal, because the property is now off the market!

So just remember, it’s not size that really matters; it’s what you do with it that counts. Here are some great tips on how to make the most of your small space.



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