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Thinking small could be the ideal way for first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder. Affordable homes that are built on small “pockets” of brownfield land that larger developers aren’t interested in are starting to spring up across London.

Pocket Living is one company that’s gathered big investment from the likes of the London Mayor and the Government to build smaller but more attainable properties for first-time buyers.

The homes are aimed at single people who cannot afford ordinarily afford to buy in London. They are sold at a 20 percent discount on their market value, which is a condition of the planning permission. Crucially buyers must pass on that 20 percent discount when they come to sell their pocket home.

So far Pocket Living has built around 600 flats across the capital, with funding for more than 1,000 in place. Areas to benefit from the affordable properties include Croydon and Chiswick.

Their flats are one-bedroom apartments with 38 square metres of living space, ranging in price from £225,000 to £264,000.

Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket Living, said: “Last summer the Mayor invested in Pocket Living because we are able to deliver high-quality, affordable homes for local people at speed using modular construction.

“This is one way Pocket Living is helping to solve London’s housing crisis. Factory-build modular homes are quicker to build and far less disruptive to residents.”

Developers are becoming increasingly more innovative in their provision of affordable homes for first-time buyers and others struggling to make an impact on the property market. Pre-fab homes, which gained post-war fame as the quick way to rehouse millions of people, are a much smarter and cheaper way to build than using conventional methods. Pocket living is just the latest development in that area.