What does the perfect home look like? While some of us may still fantasize about walk-in closets, expansive living rooms and ample storage, oversized houses are becoming less and less desirable. Well-designed compact spaces are becoming increasingly popular amongst the next generation of homeowners who crave flexibility, convenience and affordability in every aspect of their lives, from the music they listen to the homes they live in.
Millennials, who are entering the home-buying market in larger numbers, are driving down home size. A major driver of this new trend is that, with the advent of innovative technologies, we simply don’t need as much space. The general clutter that covered the walls of our parent’s homes, the shelves of CDs, DVDs, and books have become a thing of the past. We can now access all the same content online via services such as Saavn, Netflix, and Kindle.
Strengthening this shift towards smaller households has been changing living patterns. People are increasingly on the move, choosing to live alone and having their first child later in life, causing the average Indian family to become smaller. In 2001, for example, Indian families with nine members or above formed 11.3 per cent of the total households. But, in 2011, only 6.6 per cent of the households had nine members or more. This narrowing of the family form has already had significant effects on household sizes, with the size of the average house in Mumbai shrinking by 25% over the last five years alone.
The issue of cost is, of course, unavoidable. Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers at the same stage of life and typically have a significantly lower net worth. With house prices skyrocketing in rapidly urbanising centres – it would take 580 years for an individual earning an average Indian income to buy a flat in central Mumbai – the reality is that most of us can simply no longer afford a large home. Choosing to live in a compact home is fast becoming the only option available for first-time buyers craving the convenience of living in the centre of Mumbai.
What do these changing preferences mean for housing? In an era of unprecedented population growth and threats to our environment, the demand for compact housing from the millennial generation simply affirms our need to build smaller. Pioneering the trend in compact houses, Xrbia is able to satisfy this generation’s desire for affordability and convenience, as well as society’s need for greater energy and space efficiency. Xrbia has developed compact homes that are complemented by shared infrastructure, including commercial facilities, open green spaces, gyms and swimming pools to ensure that compact does not mean claustrophobic. Xrbia’s compact housing vision will inject some much needed affordability into India’s real estate market, allowing millennials to lose the connotation of “generation rent”.
Efficiency, convenience and affordability are what is wanted – and needed – for the twenty-first century. Like CDs, DVDs and Books, wasted space too should be confined to the dustbins of history.