Bungalows account for less than 7% of all house sales in UK

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Less than 2% of houses for sale in London (Central and Greater), Aberdeen and Portsmouth are bungalows

With bungalows accounting for fewer than 7% of houses currently for sale in the UK, and with declining numbers of new bungalows being built, we could be witnessing the demise of the British bungalow.

According to research by online estate agents HouseSimple.com, we are facing a dire bungalow shortage, with just 1 in every 14 houses currently on the market listed as a bungalow. And with little incentive for developers to build one-storey houses - due to the lower profit margins that are achievable compared to multiple-storey houses rather than a lack of demand - the death knell could have been sounded for the British bungalow.

The knock-on effect of fewer bungalows could be devastating, as the lack of suitable properties for the older generation could force people into care houses earlier, or result in longer hospital stays putting more strain on NHS services.

Just how few bungalows are there? HouseSimple.com looked at the percentage of houses currently for sale across 75 major towns and cities, that are listed as bungalows. In almost three quarters (73.3%) of those towns and cities, bungalows account for less than 10% of all houses on the market today.

In London (0.9%), Aberdeen (1.4%), Portsmouth (2.0%), Oxford (2.2%) and Cambridge (2.5%), 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.

The following table shows the UK towns and cities with the lowest percentage of houses for sale currently that are listed as bungalows.

Town/City

Region

No. of bungalows for sale

Total no. of houses for sale (inc. bungalows)

% of total home for sale that are bungalows

London

London

129

13854

0.9

Aberdeen

Scotland

4

294

1.4

Portsmouth

South

12

604

2.0

Oxford

South East

16

720

2.2

Cambridge

East

10

405

2.5

Slough

South East

34

1057

3.2

Newport

Wales

24

743

3.2

Basingstoke

 South

23

631

3.7

Manchester

North West

77

2036

3.8

Shrewsbury 

West  Midlands

26

681

3.8

Reading

South East

37

957

3.9

Watford

East

35

884

4.0

Hull

East Yorkshire

45

1097

4.1

Stockport

North West

32

774

4.1

Gateshead

North East

34

822

4.1

According to HouseSimple research, Aberdeen currently has just four bungalows for sale, while Cambridge has 10 out of more than 400 houses on the market. Manchester is the only city in the north of the country that features in the bottom ten places, with just 3.8% of current stock listed as bungalows.

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.

The following table shows the UK towns and cities with the highest percentage of houses for sale currently that are listed as bungalows.

Town/City

Region

No. of bungalows for sale

Total no. of houses for sale (inc. bungalows)

% of total home for sale that are bungalows

Worthing

South East

134

557

24.1

Bournemouth

South West

149

682

21.9

Eastbourne

South East

97

483

20.1

Mansfield

East Midlands

108

542

20.0

Southend

East

52

291

17.9

Norwich

East

147

883

16.7

Poole

South

136

832

16.4

York

North Yorkshire

141

899

15.7

Brighton

South East

85

680

12.5

Middlesbrough

North East

177

1474

12.0

Sunderland

North East

148

1266

11.7

Leicester

East Midlands

199

1733

11.5

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

239

2129

11.2

Newcastle

North East

197

1766

11.2

Nottingham

East Midlands

266

2462

10.8

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.com comments: "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.”

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