All newly built housing must be above the minimum size limit of 28 square meters © Getty Images/Julia Klueva

The city of Moscow may limit the construction of buildings containing so-called micro-flats, local news agencies reported on Thursday, citing an official letter sent to property developers. This follows an announcement last week by President Vladimir Putin of housing targets as part of the government’s new social development goals.

The document circulated by Moskomexpertiza, the government body that oversees construction and pricing in the capital, reportedly noted that Russia’s Housing Code sets a minimum size limit of 28 square meters for an apartment to be suitable for residential purposes.

The current levels of housing construction in Moscow, coupled with the targets set out in a Presidential decree mean that “deviation from the established size limit of apartments is prohibited,” the letter states, as quoted by RIA Novosti. The ban will not affect projects that were approved before May 7, it adds.

Putin updates Russia’s national development goals Putin updates Russia’s national development goals

Last week, President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to improve living conditions in the country. The aim is for there to be sufficient housing for each city dweller to have a minimum living space of 33 square meters by 2030 and 38 by 2036.

Real estate experts point out that micro-flats have been highly popular in Moscow in recent years, especially among young adults.

Apartments smaller than 28 square meters currently make up 15% of the total amount of housing for sale in new developments, the highest rate ever, TASS news agency cited Pavel Lutsenko, the head of real estate database ‘Mir kvartir’ as saying. The Moscow city government introduced the 28-meter limit to avoid a shortage of parking spaces and ensure access to schooling, he suggested.

Micro flats have also proved a growing trend in other capitals, such as London. According to the British government standards, the minimum floor area for any new home should be 37 square meters. Yet micro flats as small as 19 square meters are allowed to be built. The average size of a purpose-built student accommodation in London is just over 13 square meters.