Since the start of 2023, apartment living has been enjoying a resurgence. Property experts at Zoopla and Rightmove indicate a reversal of the pandemic trend to move to rural and coastal locations, with apartments generating the most sales. Our director, Steve Hird, discusses why this lifestyle is back in vogue…
“The beginning of the year was clouded in mortgage uncertainty, and this coupled with the rate of inflation and cost-of-living caused a hit to the housing market. It would seem the knock-on effect has been an increase in demand for smaller, more manageable homes like apartments.
“Not only are these cheaper to run but with a smaller footprint, they require less furnishings. They’re also typically located in town or city centres, nearby public transport connections, meaning leading a sustainable lifestyle is far easier.
“Reflecting this sustainability and cost consciousness in show apartment design has become a common brief. Many of our schemes now incorporate recycled and natural materials as well as upcycled furniture, or pieces sourced from high street, affordable retailers. Where we use bespoke items, these are made by British manufacturers, to limit carbon footprint.
“A second priority for housebuilders is to address the common misconception that apartments require a compromise on living space. Most apartments follow an open plan layout with a large kitchen/dining/living space and, if you think about it, this is hardly dissimilar from most larger new build homes. The challenge is in the styling.
“Our approach is to follow the logical flow of the property and avoid creating pinch points with bulky objects or furniture. Using thoughtful wall treatments such as panelling, block painting or sometimes even a living wall, we subtly subdivide the space for different activities such as dining, home working or relaxing. This can be taken a step further with physical partitions such as temporary screens or open display units to section each area.
“Another important distinction is to challenge conventional room labelling. As tempting as it might be to style a two-bedroom apartment with a main and a guest bedroom, the point is to highlight flexibility of space. The idea of ‘self-care spaces’ has been rising rapidly, as people focus on their mental and physical wellbeing. So the second bedroom might become a home cinema, library, craft room or peloton room, and that’s before we’ve covered the latest trend for ‘spathrooms’ i.e. bathrooms with spa-like décor!
“One final thought on why apartments remain popular is because they’re not ageist. Homeowners from all stages of life can embrace apartment living, from first time buyers, young couples and new families to professionals and the retired.”