Micro house bought at auction for £9,500 by Londoner with big plans for the student rental market

A prototype of a micro house has been bought at auction by a London resident. Could this spark the development of a new student homes scheme in the capital?

The prototype of an eco-friendly micro house has been bought by a Londoner for £9,500 at auction, adding £1,500 to the original listed guide price.

Mic Choudry, the owner of Moving Home Company Ltd, intends to use the portable single residence - which, at 130sq ft is about a third of the size of a Tube train carriage - as on-site living quarters for the foreman at the company's 25,000sq ft commercial premises in Greenwich, south-east London. 

Micro houses, supplied in Britain by Ecodom, are kitted out with a fold-down bed, kitchenette and shower room. If all goes to plan, Choudry would like to invest in more of these compact homes, with the idea of creating a rental village that would be ideally located for students at the University of Greenwich nearby.

Including VAT, he paid a total of £12,000 for the "studio house made from wood". He says: "I think it was a good investment. It's a compact building and nicely fitted out. I think they could work particularly well for the student market in London."




New models of the micro house are expected to retail for £16,000 and are attracting interest from parents looking to help their cash-strapped grown-up children move out - even if it is only as far as the garden. Constructed off-site and delivered fully made within two months of ordering, it couldn't be simpler to crane a micro house over the garden fence, drop it into place... and move straight in.

Thierry Laduguie, who heads up Ecodom in Britain, says: "It's becoming too expensive for people to buy a house in the UK. More and more people are looking for modular housing solutions." 

The prototype was auctioned at half of its full retail value due to a couple of hitches that have been rectified in the new models. The prototype is three metres tall - a shade under 10ft - so an owner would need planning permission before putting it in a garden, and as the electrics are in line with EU regulations, these will need to be adapted to meet British standards. 


READ MORE: Planning permission for outbuildings - everything you need to know


New micro homes will be made with energy-efficient timber frames and insulation, rather than the prototype's solid wood panels, so they will be cheaper to heat and will weigh less than the 5.1-ton original. Crucially, the new model will only be 2.5 metres tall - 8ft 2in - so you may not need to apply for planning permission.

At about 30 times less than the average price of a one-bedroom London flat - currently £501,727 according to property website Zoopla - micro houses such as this could be the future for students looking for more affordable rent or young Londoners hoping to gain some independence from the family home. 

For more details, visit ecodom-uk.com.

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