As the housing industry is not as buoyant as it used to be, builders are willing to move mountains to retain buyers.
With property rates skyrocketing, builders are coming up with affordable housing options in the form of micro and nano apartments. What makes these Lilliputian spaces unique?
Finding a house in the city is akin to finding a puddle in a dessert; the main reason being — budget constraints. To solve the pressing need for housing, builders have come up with the concept of micro flats. These relatively tiny homes are supposed to help Mumbaikars with affordable housing. But considering the fact that the concept of one room-kitchen apartments existed prior to these micro offerings, one wonders if this new trend is just a marketing gimmick, a way of packaging an existing phenomenon in a palatable, trendy fashion.
For Prasad Supekar, who has recently moved from Ghatkopar to Chembur, his micro flat serves as a status symbol. “I am a teacher and can’t afford an expensive house. I lived for 30 years in a 190 sq feet apartment and had to leave the place when my father retired. This house is much better because it is a 230 sq feet apartment and fits my budget. The visible difference here is that this house has a contemporary feel,” says Prasad.
Another buyer, Ankit Jhalani, who recently moved to the city with his wife and four-year-old daughter, considers his micro flat to be a good deal. “I bought the house to avoid rent. Now I pay a small amount of money in instalments and have my own house in the city. It is a 1 BHK but I think it is enough for the three of us,” says Ankit.
As the housing industry is not as buoyant as it used to be, builders are willing to move mountains to retain buyers. “People’s budgets are not keeping pace with property rates. So micro and nano flats are proving to be affordable options.They have all the amenities required, but are designed in a space-saving fashion,” says Amar Suresh Haware, Executive Director and C.F.O of HAWARE Properties.
A micro 1 BHK apartment ranges from 270 to 350 sq ft and comprises of an 8x10 living room, 6x8 kitchen and a bathroom, which builders and buyers feel is adequate for a small family. The maintenance charges too of these flats are much less.
While the diminutive size of these apartments might lead one to think that they are quite similar to a chawl, or housing board domiciles, micro housing is markedly different, because as Amar says, “The houses are conveniently located and are well furnished. There is also a 2-3 ft private balcony.”
Another micro flat owner, Manish Sherugar, who recently moved to his micro apartment in Goregaon, says he finds it luxurious. “I shifted from a 280 sq ft flat in Kandivali MMRDA to this flat. And though this flat has the same sq ft area, it is more comfortable and has proper ventilation,” says Manish. “I think the idea is to enjoy luxury in a small budget and we are comfortable living in this house,” chimes in Nikita, Manish’s sister.
Well, maybe in the near future, sq ft will be just a number, thanks to micro and nano dwellings.