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."
SEE MORE: IMAGES AND FLOORPLAN OF THE MICRO HOUSE...
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The bedroom/living space with a floor-to-ceiling window.
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The bed folds-up into the wall. The living space leads into the kitchen area.
3/12 Do a DiCaprio — buy yourself a private island
The single bed folds-down at night.
4/12 Free delivery and assembly service on bespoke beds
A fully-integrated bathroom maxinmmises space.
5/12 Discounts on summer garden furniture
6/12 Discounts on Eames-style chairs
And delivered fully-made within two months...
The 130sq ft single residence measures about a third of the size of a London Tube carriage.
8/12 Chic sun loungers for £445
The new model wll be 2.5 metres tall, so you won't need planning permission to put one in your garden.
9/12 Up to 30 per cent off window shutters
A computer-genereated-image of the bathroom and bedroom/living space
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A computer-genereated-image of the bedroom/living space and kitchen
11/12 Savings on stylish tray tables
A computer-genereated-image of the bedroom/living space and bathroom
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A birds-eye view of the micro-house.
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.
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.