Bungalows for sale could ‘solve Britain’s housing crisis’

August 18, 2014 at 1:46 PM 1 comment

Property developers should build more bungalows to help solve Britain’s housing crisis, a Government minister has said.

18.08.14 Bungalow 1

Increasing the supply of bungalows would enable older people to downsize to smaller homes, freeing up larger properties for families, Brandon Lewis claimed.

Britain’s shortage of homes has been one of the key factors driving up house prices during the past year, as the supply of suitable properties has failed to keep up with demand.

Brandon Lewis

Housing minister Brendon Lewis (left) with transport minister Robert Goodwill

Lewis, who was appointed as Minister for Housing and Planning in last month’s reshuffle, said many couples wanted to trade down to smaller properties once their children had left home, but they were reluctant to move into apartments or retirement homes.

He said the “quintessentially British bungalow” was an important part of Britain’s housing mix and developers should build more of them.

But despite the need for bungalows, there has been a sharp drop in the number of these properties being built.

Only around 2 per cent of new homes are bungalows, with just 300 of the properties built in 2009 – the latest year for which figures are available.

Lewis said his own parents-in-law showed why the country needed more bungalows.

“My in-laws are in their 70s, pretty fit, mentally really with it; they live in a normal house which they both struggle with,” he told the Daily Mail.

“They are not ready to move into what they would see as a retirement home, but where they live there is not access to bungalows.

“We should be looking to love bungalows a little bit more. They are an important part of the mix.”

Bungalows not only enable older people to downsize to a more manageable home, but they can also help them to release substantial equity in the process.

For example, a two bedroom bungalow in Southampton is currently on the market for £245,000, according to Zoopla.

But a four bedroom house in the same area is selling for £399,950.

The Government amended planning guidelines earlier this year requiring council planners in England to set aside a certain number of flats or bungalows for older people in a bid to meet the needs of Britain’s ageing population.

But developers are thought to be reluctant to build higher numbers of bungalows, as houses are generally more profitable.

Planning rules that require developers to build at least 30 homes on every hectare of land also make bungalows unappealing to developers.

Lewis’ call echoes the findings of a report by think tank the Policy Exchange that called for the planning system to be reformed to encourage developers to build more bungalows.

The group estimated that there were 25 million unused bedrooms in the homes of older people, which it partly attributed to the fact that many homeowners could not downsize to a bungalow.

Entry filed under: General News, House Prices. Tags: , , , .

British parents anticipate typically spending £180 on back-to-school costs Gardening tips to attract August homehunters

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Haider  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    There is a shortage if available land in the UK. What this country needs is not bungalows but high rise buildings instead. It needs new modern cities with rapid transport system that links it with London and other major UK cities. The government should help developers in acquiring land at discounted prices so that they can build affordable homes for all segments of UK society. This is what we need in the UK.

    Reply

Why not leave us a comment or share this with the buttons above?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Zoopla Mobile & Tablet Apps

Grab the App

Zoopla.co.uk

Search over 1 million properties for sale or to rent on our site from more than 18,000 agents and developers, including all of the UK's leading names.

Posts delivered hot and fresh to your inbox. Signup for free to subscribe, (No spam... ever) and join over 16,000 others.

Enter your email address below:

Recent Posts

Follow Zoopla

Archives

About the Zoopla blog

The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 560 other followers

%d bloggers like this: