UK faces bungalow shortage
Just one in every 14 houses currently on the market in the UK is a bungalow, according to research by HouseSimple.com.
The online estate agent said that the one-storey properties account for only 7% of homes currently being sold in the UK, and, in some areas, much less.
There’s also fewer new bungalows, and declining numbers being built because of lower profit margins for developers over multi-storey homes.
It all adds up to a shortage of this style of home in many areas. HouseSimple.com reckons that the dearth of bungalows – which are very suitable for the elderly and infirm – could have a knock-on effect on care home demand and even NHS provision.
In London, Aberdeen, Portsmouth, Oxford and Cambridge, the situation is already at crisis point, with bungalows making up less than 2.5% of property stock – that’s 1 in every 40 houses for sale.
Not surprisingly, London is at the bottom of the list. The capital has the fewest bungalows for sale as a percentage of all houses on the market, at less than 1%. In numbers, there are just 129 bungalows for sale in the whole of London, including Greater London.
At the other end of the table, Worthing (24.1%), Bournemouth (21.9%) and Eastbourne (20.1%) – towns popular with retirees – have the highest proportion of bungalows. More than a fifth of houses currently on the market in these towns are one-storey houses.
Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple.com said: “We could be facing a specific housing shortage that hasn’t been addressed, or certainly hasn’t been at the top of the Government’s priority list. There is a lack of suitable housing for the older generation, and with fewer bungalows being built and the existing stock declining or off the market indefinitely, there is a crisis brewing that could put a terrific strain on the care home system and NHS in the next decade.
“We have an ageing population but there isn’t the housing infrastructure in place to meet the needs of this demographic. Bungalows have provided a solution but the fact that fewer are being built every year speaks volumes. Without any incentives or Government intervention, why should housebuilders choose needs over profit. There is every chance that housebuilders could stop building bungalows altogether in the next three to five years. The knock-on effect of that eventuality could be catastrophic if provisions aren’t put in place.”