An amendment to construction regulations, signed yesterday, is a major step toward reducing construction costs and slowing down property price increases, according to Björn Brynjúlfur Björnsson, economist for the Icelandic chamber of commerce, mbl.is reports. The amendment allows for the construction of smaller apartments than previously permitted.
Björn Karlsson, head of the Iceland Construction Authority, says that thanks to the amendment, as well as others made in the past two years, one can now easily construct 20 sq m (215 sq ft) apartments, whereas for decades, no apartments less than 36 sq m (388 sq ft) were constructed. He points out that these can be convenient for students who don’t require much space and can take advantage of a common laundry room.
Gísli Örn Bjarnhéðinsson, CEO of Búseti, a housing coop, says the amendment reduces requirements for the size of storage rooms, balconies and apartments as a whole.
Other changes include reducing the number of required parking spaces for the handicapped. Besides, requirements for the breadth of hallways will be reduced.
Björn Brynjúlfur, Björn and Gísli all point out that the flexibility given by the amendment can quickly be reflected in lower prices for a first apartment, both because of lower construction costs, and by saving the number of square meters. Gísli estimates the price reduction per the smallest size apartment could be ISK 1-2 million (USD 8-16,000, EUR 7-14,000).