What is a cluster development?
A cluster development is a living arrangement in which residents have their own private space, but with some amenities being shared between residences. This can be on a smaller and more intimate scale, with shared spaces including kitchen and living areas, or a larger scale in which the communal resources might include a shared garden and other leisure facilities.
Sharing some resources between several different households has clear financial advantages, with the footprint of each individual cluster house being reduced, which in turn reduces the cost to build and to rent.
But the advantages of such developments go beyond the financial; they can help to restore a sense of community in what can otherwise be a busy but lonely urban environment.
What is micro living?
Cluster developments aren’t the only urban planning development due to make city living more affordable in the future. Micro living is an emerging trend in which the scale of a home is reduced to be significantly smaller than a traditional house or apartment.
This kind of lifestyle is popular among young professionals who want a minimalist and affordable place in a desirable neighbourhood, without a reduction in their quality of life.
Micro living can accommodate all the trappings of a modern apartment, but with space-saving tricks including multi-functional furniture, as well as sleek and compact technology to make the most of every inch.
Lifestyle fad or here to stay?
Cluster developments hark back to a time when residential communities were small and amenities were shared among the residents of a village.
In large modern cities this may seem unusual, but they represent a tried and tested way of life that still brings advantages for residents – whether avoiding isolation or making high-quality housing affordable. This is what lends them enduring appeal, particularly among young professionals who want good value for money, and those who want to retain a sense of community in a big city.
Micro living, although a much newer concept, is only becoming more widespread as developments in household design and technology enable people to downsize to greater and greater degrees.
These new forms of living could be among the most future-proof property investments available, offering access to exclusive neighbourhoods at a more achievable price point. By cutting out the unnecessary space, and still retaining the key elements of an aspirational lifestyle, less really could be more for property investors.