Residential flats are not only popular in big metros, they are fast gaining acceptance in smaller cities with less than a million people and that, too, single-floor flats as opposed to multi-storeys, says the India Housing Report. It is an online archive and periodic report that brings together the disparate analytical work on housing in India.
This is because flats are an affordable housing option and a key component in the supply of rental housing in smaller towns, the report said.
As a matter of fact the share of single-floor flats have increased over the last decade, more so in the smaller cities, it says.
As many as 24 percent of dwelling units in smaller cities are flats, as per the NSS 2018 housing survey. Overall, these units comprise over a third (31.3 percent) of the dwelling units in the urban areas, the report said.
The size of the flats, measured in terms of median floor area per capita, varies from 133 square feet in the top eight metropolitan cities to 120 square feet in the smaller cities, it says.
More than 65 percent of the flat constructions in the smaller cities (less than a million population) are either single or double storied flats, in comparison to 38 percent in case of top metropolitan areas, the report says.
Flats have emerged as an affordable housing option and are key component in the supply of rental housing in smaller towns. Almost half of the flats in smaller towns are used for residential rental purposes. As compared to metros, a higher share of flats in smaller towns (8.5 percent) are also used as employer-provided housing.
More research is required, however, on what segments of the housing market these flats serve. Data seems to indicate that this could be an umbrella category including many types of housing arrangements for different kinds of people.
The NSS 2018 (National Sample Survey) housing survey reveals that only 65.1 percent of the households living in the single-storied flats have access to exclusive in-house latrines, while only 38.4 percent of them have in-house exclusive access to water.About 15 percent (3.03 million) of the casual workers in urban areas also live in flats, half of which are single-storied and based on adverse rental contracts (hired dwelling without written contract), the report said.