Martin Skinner Picks London’s Nappy Valley As Next Micro-Home Hotspot

Martin Skinner, the property developer and CEO of Inspired Homes, has chosen London’s Nappy Valley as the location for his new micro-home development.

Inspired Homes has bought 177 Abbeville Road in Clapham, which has seen price rises of 36% over the last five years, according to Zoopla, leaving many first-time buyers priced out of the popular south London destination.


The scheme will have 30 one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom micro-apartments, which will be priced around 20% below typical new-builds in the area.


With prior approval permitted development consent received last week, the redevelopment will convert a 1930s office building, comprising 19,000 sq ft, which is just a few minutes’ walk from Clapham Common tube and the bars, restaurants and shops of Clapham High Street.

Working with architects Child Graddon Lewis, Inspired Homes will restore the existing building, putting in new windows, a new entry lobby and communal gardens.

The apartments will have hardwood flooring throughout, designer kitchens with stone worktops, bathrooms with porcelain floor and wall tiles, home automation including heating and lighting control, communal heating systems and superfast 1 Gb broadband by Hyperoptic.

London Help to Buy will be available on all apartments six months prior to practical completion. Work on site is expected to start next month.

Skinner said Clapham Common, and Abbeville Road in particular, is one of the most sought-after locations for London’s young professionals and city workers.


“This is Inspired Homes’ first micro-apartment scheme in a central London location, providing high spec, high tech homes that are considerably more affordable because they are smaller,” he said. “This is an exciting opportunity for buyers to purchase a new home close to Clapham Common and the trendy bars, cafes and shops on Clapham High Street, at relatively affordable prices.”


Skinner set up Inspired on the realisation that tenants didn’t want to rent forever, but found the step up from renting to owning becoming ever larger as house prices rose.

His solution was the “micro-apartment”. He’s previously said tenants are much happier to compromise on size than specification, budget or location.

By building smaller units, the company is able to offer new homes at lower prices than space standard compliant new-builds in the same location.

The one-bedroom apartments are typically 30 sq m to 37 sq m, with two-beds between 40 sq m and 52 sq m, around 40% smaller than the space standard guidelines.

But with a hallway-free design, open-plan living areas and often the addition of balconies, the apartments look and feel more spacious than the square footage suggests.

DealMakerz isn’t surprised by the growth of micro-living in the capital. Young Londoners want to get a foot on the housing ladder without having to move into the city’s outer boroughs.

It comes after Pocket Living, another micro apartment developer, signed a £9 million deal to buy a site in Leyton, where it is building 200 new homes.

Pocket Living’s one-bed homes average 38 sq m – the size of a London Underground carriage – and they’re sold to first-time buyers who live or work locally and earn below a certain amount.

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