Goodness spacious me! New homes get bigger

December 30, 2016 / Isla MacFarlane
Goodness spacious me! New homes get bigger

It’s a common misconception that new homes are getting smaller, and the fact we build the smallest homes in Europe is well-documented. However, new analysis suggests that the housebuilding industry is not only building more homes, but bigger homes with more bedrooms.

HBF’s report, brilliantly named Goodness Spacious Me, shows that the number of bedrooms built increased from 385,000 in 2008/09 to 478,000 in 2015/16.

This was largely as a result of the shift to building more family homes. Over the same period the percentage of flats built dropped from 50% of the new homes in 2008/9 to just 25%, whilst the number of houses increased from, 80,000 to 120,000. The average size of a new build homes increased by nearly 15% from an estimated 801 Square feet to 918 square feet.

“The report illustrates the huge increase we have seen in house building since the devastating economic crash of 2008/09 but this is more than just a numbers game,” Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation. “We have an acute housing crisis that can only be solved by building more of the right homes in the right places.

“Government policy has allowed the industry to focus on responding to the needs of buyers in this regard and, as a result, the industry has delivered huge increases in supply over the last three years.The industry is planning to deliver further increases in output. By addressing the entrenched problems with planning and developing further positive policies to promote development the Government can help maintain this momentum.”

The report underlines how housing supply has rebounded since the shattering financial crash of 2008/09 that saw many house builders disappear and others shedding up to 50% of their staff. As a result of a more positive economic and policy environment the industry has rapidly increased the number and type of homes it has built to better match demand. Indeed, whilst more dwellings were built in 2006/7, the number of houses produced last year far outstripped that of a decade ago.

The shift towards more spacious homes with additional bedrooms makes the speed of increases in house building even more impressive. It also reflects the change in Government policy. Through the early 2000s policy and planning guidance concentrated development on high density urban brownfield site. But the acute shortage of family housing dictated a shift. The introduction of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme and the more positive National Planning Policy Framework planning system have allowed the industry to increase output and deliver more of the type of homes that people need.

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