New homes in Yorkshire and Humber are the smallest in the country according to new research by the RIBA
The average three bedroom house was 13m² short of the recommended minimum size, based on space standards suggested in a benchmark report by the Greater London Authority (GLA), with a floor area of just 83m² – enough room for an extra double bedroom.
Nationally the research revealed that newly built three bedroom homes were 8m² smaller than the suggested 96m² ‘minimum’ - room for a single bed, bedside table, wardrobe, desk and chair.
Harry Rich, the RIBA’s chief Executive said: ‘Our new research confirms, thousands of cramped houses - shameful shoe box homes - are being churned out all over the country, depriving households of the space they need to live comfortably and cohesively.
‘At a time when the Government, housebuilding industry, economists and housebuyers and renters are concerned about whether we are building enough new homes in the UK, it might seem odd to suggest that the focus should move to thinking about the quality of those homes. And yet this is the very time to do so. In a rush to build quickly and cheaply we risk storing up unnecessary problems for the future.
He added: ‘There does not need to be any contradiction between building or refurbishing enough homes and making sure that they are of the highest quality.
The research, which looked at 3,418 three-bedroom homes in England, revealed that new homes in London were on average the largest with a comparatively impressive 119m² of floor space.
Meanwhile developer Crest Nicholson was the meanest of the housebuilders sampled when it came to floor sizes in its new three bedroom homes – on average just 84m² per home. However the Case for Space report found that equivalent houses built by Berkeley boasted 98m² of floor space (see full table below).
The revelations came as the institute launched its HomeWise campaign aimed at informing homebuyers about ideal layouts and sizes as well as urging housebuilders and estate agents to include proper ‘indicative’ floor plans rather than just the number of rooms.
The institute has also launched an online calculator for homeseekers – The Nest Test – to find out the recommended floor area of any home.
|Housebuilder||Average size of 3 bedroom house|
|Region||Average size of three bedroom home|
|East of England||88m²|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||83m²|
The RIBA’s Case for Space report, is based on 80 sites across England, reveals:
· The floor area of the average new three bedroom home is only 92 per cent of the recommended minimum size – therefore missing the space equivalent to a single bedroom which could comfortably accommodate a single bed, bedside table, wardrobe, desk and chair. With a floor area of 88m², the average house is 8m², short of the recommended size (the benchmark for comparison is the London Plan space standards for a 2 storey, three bedroom home big enough for five people).
· The most common new three bedroom home is smaller still at 74m². At only 77 per cent of the recommended size it is missing 22m² and therefore the space equivalent to two double bedrooms and all their contents.
· The average single storey one bedroom home is 46m², which is 93 per cent (4m² short) of the recommended minimum size – missing out on space equivalent to a single bed, a bedside table and a dressing table with a stool.
'Shameful shoe-boxes': Yorkshire's new homes smallest in RIBA survey