New flats being in London built by the developer Pocket have been modified so that they are affordable for first time buyers. They have less space and utilise the benefits of underfloor heating so that they remain affordable.
Marc Vlessing, who was previously an investment banker, realised that an increasing number of people were struggling to find homes. Typically, these people aren’t eligible for social housing and can’t afford a mortgage. Vlessing used this information to provide a solution, which is one bedroom flats which have 400sq ft of space, rather than the preferred minimum of 500sq ft. Vlessing found that those who fell into the group of not being able to afford a mortgage in London typically earned around £40,000. He set about designing homes which would be affordable to those people, while being desirable.
Vlessing set up the company Pocket to design flats with large windows to allow maximum light, showers rather than baths and underfloor heating to avoid interior design restriction. Storage is provided externally and bike storage is also available. The flats are often built close to transport links to the centre of London and are usually located in the cheaper parts of local boroughs. The price of the flats is around £220,000 and if the owner decides to sell, they must sell to someone else who is earning below the affordable housing limit, currently £66,000, although most of the buyers earn around £40,000. The Mayor of London has commissioned another 400 homes to be built in the coming three years.